Mortal Kombat is a massively popular video-game franchise centered around a variety of warriors from different realms coming together for the Mortal Kombat tournament where they gruesomely beat the shit out of one another. There’s a little more to it than that, but that’s pretty much all you need to know. The franchise has spawned multiple sequels, comic-books, card games, music, TV shows, and, of course, movies. The first MORTAL KOMBAT film launched the career of Paul W.S. Anderson, and the second, MORTAL KOMBAT: ANNIHILATION, is widely considered to be one of the worst movies of all time. I suppose there’s nowhere to go but up.
A new MORTAL KOMBAT film has been in development for a number of years, but the project is finally moving ahead as it’s slated to start shooting in Australia later this year for a March 5, 2021 release. Simon McQuoid is directing from a script by Greg Russo with James Wan producing, and unlike the previous films in the franchise, this one will embrace its bloody origins with an R-rating. “Since it’s already been stated by other members of the team, I’m gonna put this one to bed,” Russo stated earlier this month. “[Mortal Kombat] WILL be R-Rated and for the first time EVER, FATALITIES will FINALLY be on the big screen (and no I’m not gonna say which ones) You’ll just have to wait for the movie & see!” With THE RAID’s Joe Taslim already signed on to play Sub-Zero, we’ll no doubt be hearing more casting news in the near future, so why not get a head start by throwing in our two cents for four of the franchise’s most popular characters: Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage, Liu Kang, and Scorpion.
Originally, I had just intended on focusing on one of these characters, but thanks to a suggestion from Luke319, I’ve expanded the column to include a few others. Headstrong and tough, Sonya Blade is an officer in the United States Special Forces whose main goal is to capture Kano and destroy his criminal syndicate, the Black Dragon. She was played by Bridgette Wilson in the first film and by Sandra Hess in the second. Inspired by Jean-Claude Van Damme, Johnny Cage is a cocky martial artist and actor who initially enters the Mortal Kombat tournament as a publicity stunt to prove that he doesn’t use special effects in his movies. Cage also serves as a bit of comic relief, at least compared to the other more serious characters in the franchise. He was played by Linden Ashby in the first film and by Chris Conrad in the second. We’ve also got Liu Kang, a Shaolin monk who enters the Mortal Kombat tournament in order to save Earth. He was portrayed by Robin Shou, who was one of very few actors to play the same role across both films. Hanzo Hasashi, or Scorpion, was one of the finest warriors of the Shirai Ryu ninja clan, but was brutally murdered by Sub-Zero which led to the slaughter of his family and his clan. He then rises from the dead as a hell-spawned spectre out for revenge against those responsible for the death of his clan and family. He was played by Chris Casamassa ini the first film and by J.J. Perry in the second.
Now, who should play these characters in the MORTAL KOMBAT film? That’s up to you, but I’ll toss out a few suggestions to get you started. For Johnny Cage, I’ll give you Channing Tatum (KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE), Ryan Reynolds (6 UNDERGROUND), and everyone’s favourite whipping boy, Jai Courtney (THE SUICIDE SQUAD). Moving on to Sonya Blade, Elsa Pataky (THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS), Katheryn Winnick (Vikings), and Gina Carano (DEADPOOL) all make for fine possibilities to fill the role. I would have included Ronda Rousey, but given how negatively fans responded when she voiced the character in the most recent Mortal Kombat game, I’ve left her off. As for Liu Kang, let’s go with Daniel Wu (Badlands), Mike Moh (ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD), and Sung Kang (FAST & FURIOUS). Finally, we’ve got Scorpion, a hard-hitting character who needs a real bad-ass to bring him to life, so I’ll give you Tony Jaa (ONG-BAK), Iko Uwais (THE RAID), and, if you’re looking for an older take on the character, Hiroyuki Sanada (Westworld).
Remember, you’re free to suggest anyone in the comments, so let your inner casting director run wild!
Previously on Cast This, you were asked to fill the role of Kate Bishop from Marvel’s upcoming Hawkeye series for Disney+. As usual, you came through with plenty of awesome suggestions, including Maya Hawke (Stranger Things), Thomasin McKenzie (LEAVE NO TRACE), and Haley Lu Richardson (FIVE FEET APART).