How can you possibly have Mortal Kombat without everyone’s (not really) favorite action movie star, Johnny Cage? I think NetherRealm Studios did actually attempt it once or twice, but I remember one specific time. It was a very cool crossover event back in 2008 when they made Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. I know, I know, that’s not everyone’s favorite Mortal Kombat game, but you know what? I enjoyed that game very much. Yes, I realize that I’m in the minority here, but it actually got me into Mortal Kombat. And yes, I did play the Playstation 2 games before that, but I didn’t own them, so it was rare. Playing Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe created another Mortal Kombat fan and I couldn’t wait for the sequel. And for the record, the 2011 Mortal Kombat game is one of the best games I’ve ever played.
But I must say, MK vs. DC did lack one very special ingredient. That ingredient is the one and only Johnny Cage, the Jean-Claude Van Damme of all video games. Since the beginning of the franchise, Johnny Cage has always been the funny and cocky douchebag of the roster. On the surface, that sounds like a lame character, but once you see him in action and play as him, you’ll realize why he’s such a fan-favorite. He wears sunglasses, has a tattoo of his first name on his chest, and he can glow green. Does that sound lame? Well, when he does glow green, he’s basically a superhuman ninja. He can do all kinds of fancy kicks, but his most famous move is without a doubt, the nut punch. That’s actually how he got the upper hand on Goro in the first Mortal Kombat movie.
Speaking of Mortal Kombat movies, let’s talk about the upcoming reboot. I really can’t wait for April, but we have to talk about something that’s bothering me. For all of you Johnny Cage fans out there wondering why there hasn’t been a casting announcement for the movie, it might be for a very scary reason. No casting announcement and no Johnny Cage footage means no Johnny Cage. Whoa, it’s hard to even imagine that. While that might be a hard pill to swallow, I think we should take a look at the writings on the wall.
Fact, we know that Greg Russo, one of the writers of the film, took to Twitter and claimed that no one is being replaced and no one is being forgotten. And yes, he was specifically talking about Johnny Cage. Even Max Huang, the actor playing Kung Lao, confirmed on his social media that no one is forgetting JC. That’s all good to hear, but the thing is, we still have yet to have seen any set photos or footage of any actor playing the character. The upcoming movie is adapting the story of the first game and Johnny Cage had a significant role in that game. If he was in the upcoming movie and if he did have a big part in it, then shouldn’t we have heard some casting news by now?
Let’s just say that he’s not in the movie. I know, that’s hard to imagine, but let’s just take a second to imagine it. Johnny Cage is a famous action star in the Mortal Kombat universe. If we don’t see him in the flesh, we might see some promotional poster for Ninja Mime. If you don’t understand that reference, shame on you. A nice little cameo/reference like that would be interesting, but I think we’d all appreciate an actual appearance from him. The only way for that to happen is if we got a sequel for the reboot.
If you think that’s just speculation, I’d like to point out an interview between Joe Taslim, the actor behind Sub-Zero, and the very underrated Scott Adkins. If you’re a fan of martial arts movies and the classic action stars, check out Scott Adkins’ YouTube channel, The Art of Action. He’s talked to many famous action movie stars, including Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa, and many, many more. And for the record, if you’re not familiar with Scott Adkins, he’s the guy who played that one acolyte who kicked the daylights out of Doctor Strange. He’s done a lot of stunt work, but he’s been in several action movies as the lead. And believe me, he kicks a lot of butt.
Well, Scott Adkins just recently had Joe Taslim on his channel and one of the topics they talked about was Mortal Kombat. Now here’s where things get strange. Joe Taslim mentioned that if they get to work on a sequel, he would like to see Scott Adkins play Johnny Cage. Scott Adkins, of course, happily said he’s available. Is this possible? Very much so.
The point is, if Johnny Cage were already in the movie, then why would Joe Taslim say something like that? It’s possible that he could still cameo in it or be mentioned, but Joe Taslim’s comments heavily imply that Johnny Cage has no major role in the movie. If that’s the case, then that is very disappointing news. I always like to the optimist, but it seems Joe Taslim has seemingly confirmed what we’ve been suspecting all along. I just can’t interpret his words any other way.
While this is disappointing news, I don’t think it’s entirely bad news. For instance, the movie added Cole Young, a totally original character created just for the movie. It sounds like he’s going to have a major role in the movie, along with the main characters who were the leads in the first game, including Liu Kang and Sonya. I actually get why they’re adding this Cole Young character to the movie.
First of all, if they added him and Johnny Cage, it would seem like they’re overstuffing the movie for the sake of adding more characters. We’ve seen that happened many times in movies before, and it always failed the same way. Too many characters means not enough character development. If they tried cramming in Johnny Cage, along with Cole Young and the other classic characters, one or two of them wouldn’t be getting the proper amount of screen time.
I would also like to think of it another way. We’ve seen the story of the first game told over and over again several times. It’s not hard to understand why, it’s always a fun story to see. The thing is, this upcoming reboot has a chance to tell it a different way while staying loyal to the foundations of the original story. They really have to do that, because we honestly don’t want to see the same story told over again. They can stay loyal to the lore while adding their own little nuances into the mix. If that means putting Johnny Cage on the sidelines, then so be it. When I say that, I really mean they should only do it temporarily. Seriously, you can’t keep Johnny Cage on the sidelines for long. He’s just too important to the franchise and to the fans.
What are your thoughts, Mortal Kombat fans? Either way, we can all be excited for the upcoming reboot. Can April come any faster?