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Movie history is littered with parallel universes where different actors took on different parts that could have catapulted them onto new heights. We now have another to add to the discussion, because it has been revealed that Danny Glover was actually the first choice to play Raiden in 1995's Mortal Kombat, with New Line pushing for the casting. They eventually buckled, and the role was played by Christopher Lambert instead.
Ed Boon, the creative director over at NetherRealm Studios and the co-creator of Mortal Kombat, who also worked as a creative consultant on the adaptation, revealed to IGN that the studio had some pretty random and wild suggestions for the film. Which Boon politely described as "pretty interesting discussions." None more so than the touted casting of Danny Glover as Raiden. Ed Boon recalled:
They had some pretty wild suggestions for characters. I remember them saying they wanted Danny Glover to be Raiden.
Boon also revealed that New Line originally wanted Kano, who was played by Trevor Goddard in the film, to have a huge pirate eyepatch rather than the big metal plate that crosses over the side of his face. But while New Line fought Ed Boon tooth and nail to make these alterations to the source material, it wasn't until they ran the proposed new incarnations of the Mortal Kombat characters past focus groups that they realized the potential backlash.
To be fair, though, it's not as if the released version of Mortal Kombat has been lavished with praise. In fact, when it was released, the reviews were middling to negative, with a heavy portion focusing on the latter. That was compensated by the fact that Mortal Kombat still went on to gross $122.1 million at the box office from just an $18 million budget. Worse was to come, though, because its follow-up, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, is widely regarded to be one of the worst films ever made. Here's a nearly twenty minute-long video that explains why.
There are plans very much in motion to right these wrongs, though, as a Mortal Kombat reboot is currently in development over at New Line. Producer James Wan has made it his duty to bring a respected version of Mortal Kombat to the big screen. The most recent news regarding the film is that Greg Russo's script will be directed by Simon McQuoid, who as recently as November was in talks with the studio. We're still waiting for news on when it will be with us, though, so keep posted to CinemaBlend for updates.