Mortal Kombat is finally out and I’m betting that many of you spent Friday night munching popcorn and watching it on HBO Max. Early indications are that it’s a hit, too, with audiences loving its goofy combination of horror, comedy, martial arts and extreme violence. Writer Greg Russo and director Simon McQuoid obviously have a deep and abiding love for the franchise and that shone through in every blood-splattered scene.
But for all the cool stuff in the movie, there’s one big thing missing. We get Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Kano, Sonya Blade, Raiden, and Liu Kang, but the absence of charismatic and egotistical movie star Johnny Cage meant the film didn’t include the full 1992 roster. Cage is a long-time fan favorite, of course, with his signature ‘nut punch’ move making its way into all the mainline titles in the franchise. In addition, he’s a major player in the recent games’ story modes and his skills prove to be the key to defeating various interdimensional evils and protecting Earthrealm.
Fortunately, though, Mortal Kombat isn’t an entirely Johnny Cage-free movie. In the closing moments, we see Cole Young setting out to find a new set of Champions to defend Earth. He says he’ll begin by heading to Hollywood, with the camera then panning across to a poster for Citizen Cage: Fight for Your Rights starring – you guessed it – Johnny Cage.
With a sequel now inevitable, this is practically confirmation that Cage will play a big role in it. Fans have already decided that Keanu Reeves would be perfect casting and I can’t help but agree. Plus, if we’re going for an older take on the character, we might also get a version of his ass-kicking daughter Cassie, who’s one of the most fun new Kombatants the series has seen in years.
Furthermore, and as ScreenRant explains:
Since Cole is on a mission to find other Champions, then it suggests that Johnny Cage has already been chosen and already has his dragon mark too, and that’s presumably how and why Cole knows to search him out in the first place. Quite how he’ll feel about Cole’s plans remain to be seen, but that’s something that will presumably form the opening of the Mortal Kombat sequel, should it happen. As well as those two likely butting heads, there’s also lots of potential to develop his relationship with Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), with whom he has a storied history (and even a daughter) in the games.
Mortal Kombat is now out in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.