‘Cobra Kai’ Creator Explains Why AC/DC Classic Has Eluded Their Placement
If you've caught the four seasons of Netflix's current Karate Kid continuation, Cobra Kai, you've likely noticed the many music throwbacks taking fans back to the '80s heyday of the original trilogy of films. But as the show moves forward, there's been one song they've often written into the script but have yet to be able to place, and that's AC/DC's "Thunderstruck."
While speaking with EW, series creator Jon Hurwitz spoke about the music usage within the series and shared his long-held desire to have "Thunderstruck" used on multiple occasions, but noting that the price range to license the track has been beyond their budget.
"We had 'Thunderstruck' written into the script," says Hurwitz. "We've written 'Thunderstruck' into the script several times over the years, and we've never been able to afford it in that moment or to make that choice [to spend the money on it] right now."
"Thunderstruck" remains one of AC/DC's biggest hits and has been a stadium sports anthem for years. Just this past year, "Thunderstruck" reached rare air as the video surpassed one billion views on YouTube.
"A lot of times we write things into the script, but sometimes we'll write something into the script that we can't afford. I mean, our fantasy is having the kind of music budget that would allow for us to have nonstop AC/DC and Bon Jovi and Guns N' Roses," says Hurwitz.
One recent attempt at including "Thunderstruck" came in the newly released Season 4 when in the second episode Johnny (William Zabka) puts Daniel (Ralph Macchio) through a grueling Eagle Fang training session. While the script initially indicated they wanted "Thunderstruck," ultimately music supervisor Michelle Johnson was able to find a suitable and less costly replacement in Airbourne's "Breakin' Outta Hell."
"Michelle Johnson has done an amazing job, she's been phenomenal in understanding the tone of the show," says Hurwitz. "She'll pitch us many, many songs or send music to our editors and we'll narrow it down. There's nothing we love more than finding the right song for a montage."
But while mega hits may sometimes prove too costly, other times the show has been able to include exactly what was suggested. One such moment came this season with Johnny making an ill-fated effort to recruit female students to his dojo by using Motley Crue's "Girls Girls Girls," which was actually written into the script.
The fourth season of Cobra Kai recently started streaming on Netflix.