Johnny Cage will always have a place in Mortal Kombat’s history. The character was an original from the first iteration of the game and provided some grounding of the crazy world presented in the action. But for all his cache as part of the franchise, it doesn’t appear he’ll be part of the new movie when it comes out this year. We might now know why they felt the need to leave Cage out of the mix when the popular story is rebooted for a new generation.
It was from the first trailers for the new Mortal Kombat movie that we began to learn that Johnny Cage wasn’t going to be part of the mix. Though all of the other popular characters from the original game and the franchise, in general, showed up in one way or another, Cage was conspicuously absent. There are a few reasons why this would be the case and why the character really isn’t needed going forward.
ScreenRant posed a few of those theories and they are all totally plausible. The first and easiest one to wrap around is that the movie cast a totally new character in Cole Young to take on central protagonist duties. Young has top billing for the movie and is played by Lewis Tan. Considering Tan’s background, this casting makes more sense than brash movie star Johnny Cage when it came to taking on a big part in a martial arts movie.
Johnny Cage served a purpose early on in the video game’s growth. But that time has likely come to an end especially with less of a comedic element to this new production. Here, check out the red band trailer for Mortal Kombat to see why Cage might not fit in:
There’s a sense that Johnny Cage, as a brash Hollywood actor entering a deep conspiracy around a secret hidden world filled with fantastical elements, just didn’t make sense. In the original movie, he’s chosen by Raiden to help defend Earth in the titular tournament to prevent the Outworld from taking power. It was a way to bring along a devil-may-care attitude to the production for a wider range of audiences. That aspect is no longer needed with the Young character finding out he’s tied to the tournament and entering it with fresh eyes.
Their other theory is around how the other characters’ relationships are essentially paired off with Young being the outsider who is learning more about the world and those around him. Coming into that role with less of an ego than Johnny Cage was probably important in pushing the narrative forward. It’s an interesting pivot away from the original, but likely one done through care and planning. Just because someone was around for the original story doesn’t mean they necessarily have a place forever.
We don’t have too long until Mortal Kombat hits screens. It’s set to release on April 16th of this year and if the trailers can be believed, then this could be an awesome new look for the brand. The action looks tight and the effects clearly are wanting to bring an updated version to life on the screen. Even without Johnny Cage as part of the proceedings, it looks like we might have a cool movie on our hands.