Mortal Kombat Producer Explains The Absence Of Johnny Cage

Jax in Mortal Kombat's trailer

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Video game adaptations have had a rocky tenure in theaters, but the subgenre seems to be looking up. After the success of Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog, fans can't wait to see more adult content come with Simon McQuoid's' Mortal Kombat. The upcoming action flick has a ton of anticipation behind it thanks to an epic trailer, and now producer Todd Garner has explained why fan-favorite character Johnny Cage was left out of the cast.

Johnny Cage is one of the seven original Mortal Kombat characters, and has been heavily featured in every video game since. He was also a major character in

Paul W. S. Anderson's 1995 movie, which is why the hardcore fans were left scratching their head regarding his absence in the upcoming Mortal Kombat. CinemaBlend's own Sean O'Connell recently attended a press event for the movie, where producer Todd Garner explained the team's thoughts about Johnny Cage. In his words,

Johnny Cage is obviously the elephant in the room, and there's a number of reasons why Johnny Cage was problematic in this particular movie out of the gate. One, he's a very big personality, right? He needs his own space. It's very hard to just throw him in a movie, like I said, with Kano. So, taking him out was very easy not only for the movie, but for the sequel. I want to make a sequel, and I've now got Johnny Cage, which hasn't been used in the first one. So, I have a big stick and carrot that maybe they'll let me have a Johnny Cage real presence in the second one.

Well, that's certainly exciting. It looks like Johnny Cage simply wasn't the right character for this first Mortal Kombat movie, especially given his over the top personality. We'll just have to wait and see if the blockbuster is successful enough for Warner Bros. to order a bloody sequel. Fingers crossed.

Todd Garner's comments to Sean O'Connell and other journalists will hopefully help the hardcore Mortal Kombat fans get over the fact that one of the OG characters isn't going to be in the new movie. But it sounds like there are plans for the martial artist/ actor to join the burgeoning franchise, once the world of the universe is already established.

Mortal Kombat is set to arrive on HBO Max the same day as theaters. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

While footage from Mortal Kombat is limited, the first trailer made it seem like an epic and bloody movie. The tone also seems fairly serious, which is likely why Johnny Cage wasn't the right fit. Check it out below.

Much of Mortal Kombat's contents are being kept under wraps, but it's clear that those involved in the upcoming movie are big fans of the video games. While '90s movie was campy and over the top, Simon McQuoid's R-rated version will lean into the brutality of the games. This includes some gory fatalities that the cast is teasing as gut-wrenching.

When crafting the new Mortal Kombat, Simon McQuoid had a massive cast of characters to pick from, including Johnny Cage. While many of the most iconic characters are present, there are a few exceptions. For instance, Mileena will be in the movie but Kitana isn't on the cast list. We'll just have to wait and see how it all shakes out, and what teases for a possible sequel are included.

Mortal Kombat will arrive in theaters and on HBO Max April 16th. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.