Mortal Kombat 2021 may not have done that well with the critics but when it comes to fans, it has been an absolute blockbuster and a successful adaptation of the popular video games of the same name. And the renewed love for the franchise has also brought back a raging trend from the time the games were due to be adapted into a film for the first time—the popular actor Jean-Claude Van Damme playing Johnny Cage. Though that never happened, a recent deepfake video has brought the dream to life in the most perfect way.
The surge in the interest of fans in the Mortal Kombat movies has led well-known deepfake video creator, Stryder HD, to try his hand at recasting the role of Johnny Cage with Jean-Claude Van Damme playing the popular video game character. In the video, instead of the actor who played Cage in the 1995 film, Van Damme can be seen battling Scorpion. Check out the video below:
If you are someone who was recently introduced to the Mortal Kombat games and you didn’t notice that Jean-Claude Van Damme’s split-legged groin punch from Bloodsport is one of Cage’s special moves, then we are here to let you know that the actor and the franchise go way back. Even before the Mortal Kombat games were conceptualized and released, its developer, Midway Games approached the martial artist and action star Jean-Claude Van Damme as they wanted to license the actor for a fighting game modeled after his 1988 film Bloodsport and named after him as well. They even created a short demo that included footage of Van Damme’s character, Frank Dux, from the film in a digital background to convince the actor and ensure that he accepted their offer.
But getting Jean-Claude Van Damme on board didn’t happen. So, when the game was later fashioned into Mortal Kombat, the character based on the actor was retained as a spoof and named Johnny Cage instead. But the dream of adding Van Damme to the franchise didn’t end there. When the popularity of the games led New Line Cinema to adapt it into a film directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, even though many auditioned for the role of Johnny Cage, reportedly the role was first offered to Van Damme. But the actor turned down the role and Linden Ashby ended up being Johnny Cage in the film.
Even today, when the actor is too old to play Johnny Cage, the talks of Mortal Kombat 2 always trigger the debate of Jean-Claude Van Damme playing the character fashioned after him. At the end of the recently released Mortal Kombat, the character of Cole Young is seen departing for Los Angeles in search of the Hollywood star and martial artist, Johnny Cage, and it’s hinted that he is going to be another Mortal Kombat champion. Names of many actors have cropped up as potential candidates for the role, but unless the makers of the sequel are planning to introduce an older version of Cage, no one would be better than Van Damme to play the character.