Johnny Cage Isn’t In The Mortal Kombat Movie. Here’s Why


When the for the upcoming –which premieres in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16–hit, it had everything fans could have wanted, except Johnny Cage. From and massive fight sequences, to a long line of familiar characters, there was plenty to love for any Mortal Kombat fan. So why was a major character from the original game not featured?

First introduced in the original Mortal Kombat game in 1992, Johnny Cage has been a constant in the franchise and was even a major character in the , as portrayed by Linden Ashby. As it turns out, though, he’s not in the new film. And while it may seem like a glaring oversight to not include a character that big, there’s a reason you won’t be seeing him.

“The reason we held back Johnny Cage is he is a very egotistical guy. He’s a scoundrel. He’s funny. He’s bigger than life… and so is Kano,” producer Todd Garner explained during a press event for the film. “So you go, ‘Alright, are we gonna just gonna have two guys competing to [see who can] out-funny each other and out-ego each other in this movie? Or do you hold Johnny Cage back?”

In the movie, Kano is played by House of Lies alum Josh Lawson and, based on what we see of him in the trailer, he seems to be the film’s primary comic relief. Given the dark and graphic tone the movie is going for, also throwing in Johnny Cage could upset that balance.

Besides, just because he isn’t in this film doesn’t mean there are no plans for Johnny Cage. “God willing, we’re able to do another one. Everybody is waiting for that,” Garner said.

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With a wealth of characters that exist within the games, Garner is hoping this is the start of a Mortal Kombat universe of films, much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“Our goal and our prayer is that this movie does well enough, and we’ve set it up enough and is satisfying enough for both the fans and people who don’t know anything about Mortal Kombat, that they’re going to allow us, at some point, to sit with [game creators] Ed [Boon] and John [Tobias] and all the Warner Brothers [executives] and put a big whiteboard up like [Marvel Studios boss] Kevin Feige did and map out the universe,” he explained.

Before that happens, though, the world will see the first film in this potential franchise when it launches in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16.


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