Warner Bros.’ Mortal Kombat reboot is playing like gangbusters both in theaters and on HBO Max, so we’re expecting the sequel to be officially announced any day now. Fans can’t get enough of the violent martial arts actioner, but one of the more contentious aspects has been Lewis Tan’s Cole Young.
There’s nothing wrong with introducing a brand new character into a well-known mythology to give newbies a way into the story, but Cole doesn’t get given a whole lot to do other than ask questions and kick some ass, while the plot device used to tie him to the wider world of Mortal Kombat could generously be described as tenuous at best.
The failed MMA fighter is a direct descendant of Hiroyuki Sanada’s Scorpion, which is why he bears the fabled birthmark shaped like a dragon. However, it’s also established that the mark can be transferred by defeating someone else in battle, which reduces the entire cast down to a select band of chosen ones with magic powers, and it’s never really made clear why Cole in particular is so important when the Hanzo Hasashi bloodline has clearly diversified over the centuries if so many people are now capable of possessing the arcana required to fight in the titular tournament.
In any case, we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones who told us Warner Bros. were developing Justice League Dark and Green Lantern TV shows for HBO Max before they were confirmed – that the next installment in the franchise will look to clear things up by diving deeper into the lore behind Scorpion’s lineage and exploring the character and his bloodline in more depth. Further details remain thin on the ground for now, but as long as we get to see more of Sanada than the ten minutes we got in Mortal Kombat, an increase in exposition and backstory would definitely be welcome.