Exclusive: Karl Urban In Final Talks For Mortal Kombat 2

We've learned that Karl Urban is in final negotiations to appear in the upcoming Mortal Kombat 2.

By Michileen Martin | Published

karl urban

He brought us Eomer, Judge Dredd, Star Trek‘s Dr. McCoy, and Billy Butcher — and it looks like soon he’ll bring us a… FATALITY! Our trusted and proven sources have delivered the incredible news that Karl Urban is in final talks to appear in the upcoming martial arts fantasy blockbuster Mortal Kombat 2. We don’t know who he’ll be playing in the sequel, but we know it will be a lead role.

All things considered, Karl Urban is an interesting and unexpected choice for Mortal Kombat 2. Hollywood seems to be more sensitive these days about the subject of whitewashing (i.e. casting white actors in the roles of characters who are traditionally considered to be people of color), and it wouldn’t seem likely Urban would be cast as a character of Asian origin. When you consider the white characters of the franchise, Urban’s casting could suggest the sequel is going outside the box in a big way.

Linden Ashby as Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat (1995)

Perhaps the hero fans are most anticipating for Mortal Kombat 2 is Johnny Cage, who Linden Ashby played in the 1995 live-action film. Karl Urban seems a little too old for the charismatic hotshot Cage, so if this is the role he’s been tapped for, it’s possible the sequel is taking the character in an unexpected direction. Perhaps we could be looking at an older, washed-up Cage.

Then again, compared to the other actors who have either been rumored to play Cage or are high on fans’ wishlists, Karl Urban — who will turn 51 next month — really isn’t that old. Perhaps the name that’s been rumored the most in terms of a Cage casting is Charlie Hunnam of Sons of Anarchy fame, who turned 43 last month. Then there’s Scott Adkins (John Wick: Chapter 4) who will turn 47 in June, and Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) who will likewise turn 47 in October.

Josh Lawson as Kano in Mortal Kombat (2021)

Of course, if 2021’s Mortal Kombat had a slightly different cast of characters, our top choice for Karl Urban in Mortal Kombat 2 would be the cybernetic Kano. He’s a bit older, he’s Australian while Urban is from New Zealand, and he’s even got a beard. Unfortunately, Josh Lawson (The Little Death) not only already played Kano in the first of the rebooted film series, but he’s killed by Sonya (Jessica McNamee).

Last June, ScreenRant wrote an op-ed arguing that it was a mistake to kill Kano so early in the film series, because there were other storylines in the source material in which the villain was integral. Could it be the filmmakers took this notion to heart and tapped Karl Urban to play a resurrected Kano, or perhaps even a Kano from a different time? That wouldn’t be without precedent — the 2019 game Mortal Kombat 11 had two different versions of Kano from different time periods fighting the heroes.

It’s also possible Karl Urban has been cast to play one of the less human combatants of Mortal Kombat 2, such as the monstrous Baraka, rendering his racial identity a non-issue.