Barring the mysterious absence of a certain wisecracking defender of Earthrealm, last week’s long-awaited Mortal Kombat trailer featured all of the characters one would expect to see in a live-action adaptation of the storied fighting game franchise.
As of writing, director Simon McQuoid has yet to comment on why Johnny Cage was dropped from this year’s reboot and it turns out he might not be the only glaring omission. While all of the obvious participants in Shang Tsung’s tournament (Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Raiden, Liu Kang, etc.) are present and accounted for, fan favorite combatant Reptile is nowhere to be seen. Or is he?
Towards the trailer’s climax, Kano can be spotted tussling with an inhuman creature bearing reptilian qualities. In one of many excellently realized tributes to the games, the Black Hand leader emerges victorious by punching a hole in the monster’s chest and ripping its heart out. It’s this particular opponent that many fans believe is Reptile, though this act of violence could well serve to discredit the theory.
You see, Kano’s proclamation of victory sees him holding the organ of his foe and it appears to be pumping black or red blood. Incidentally, Reptile’s circulatory juices have almost always been green, potentially proving that this servant of Shao Kahn, whatever it is, isn’t the secret character that many had presumed it to be.
That being said, it’s entirely possible that the filmmakers simply decided to make a color change during production and it wouldn’t be the first documented instance of a small change being made to the lore. Sub-Zero being the entity responsible for Jax losing his arms is a big diversion from the source material, after all.
Whatever the case may be, fans will get a definitive answer when Mortal Kombat lands in theaters and on HBO Max beginning April 16th.