Following on from yesterday’s teaser posters, Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have finally pulled back the curtain on one of this year’s most anticipated video game adaptations and it’s looking largely as if fans are more than happy with the result.
Based on NetherRealm Studios’ long-running series of the same name, Mortal Kombat‘s arrival in just a few months’ time will mark the first cinematic venture for the property since 1997’s critically panned sequel Annihilation, an outcome that everyone involved will, of course, be hoping not to repeat. Judging from what we’ve seen so far, that’s unlikely to be the case, though there is one key concern that fans are already voicing on social media – the absence of a certain iconic character.
Arrogant and wise-cracking movie star Johnny Cage is absolutely nowhere to be seen in today’s trailer, causing many to fear that the popular Earthrealm champion has been cut completely. Indeed, it’s an odd decision if true, considering Cage, along with Sonya Blade and Liu Kang, are considered to be the three central protagonists of the original tournament held by sorcerer Shang Tsung at the behest of his master and Outworld’s ruler, Shao Kahn, and you can check out some of the reactions to his absence below.
No johnny cage. Pain
— Brando ? (@NeroBrando) February 18, 2021
Since when is SubZero responsible for Jax losing his arms?! Hello Ermac. And how tf can this movie be made with no Johnny Cage?!
— TessaDShort (@d_short) February 18, 2021
I kind of love and hate the new Mortal Kombat trailer. We really have to watch the whole movie before we can judge this correctly. Where is Johnny Cage. Where is Kitana. Who the fuck is Cole Young. Why are we creating new characters in a world where you aren’t featuring mains
— Bryan James (@BryanJamezzz) February 18, 2021
That new Mortal Kombat movie looks great. Disappointed the GOAT Johnny Cage wasn't in it but otherwise looks awesome.
— JJ (@STLBaseballFan6) February 18, 2021
I'm fine with it either way. Johnny Cage brings a lot of comedy and they might not want a character who undermines the sincerity of the premise right away. If that's the case, yeah, leave him for the sequel.
— improvyzer (@improvyzer) February 18, 2021
cole turner locking johnny cage out of the movie set so he can take his spot in the mk movie pic.twitter.com/5wiPstu1c7
— layla (@lovejades) February 18, 2021
Others, however (including yours truly), believe that newcomer Cole Young – who doesn’t exist in the games and has been created specifically for the film – is, in fact, Cage and that the alternate name he uses here is simply some sort of moniker.
They picked the most outdated way to tell the story but I’m like 70% sure they’ll reveal his “stage name” is Johnny Cage https://t.co/9jW7JMOSAd
— ? (@twolazytwolie) February 18, 2021
Johnny Cage was a boxer, so MY personal guess is that Cole takes the name up after the tournament https://t.co/UNXlWBtHwH
— cranbear ? (@izaeah) February 18, 2021
This would certainly explain away a glaring absence and considering how perfectly the movie’s creators have nailed fan service everywhere else, it’s highly unlikely that they simply forgot to include him.
As usual, we’ll ultimately have to wait until release to learn the truth, though thankfully, there’s not much time left to go. Mortal Kombat arrives in theaters and on HBO Max starting April 16th.