Mortal Kombat: 6 Star-Studded Facts About Johnny Cage

Johnny Cage in a vest

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder (just don’t mention anything about hearts around Kano). What I mean is, I haven’t heard anybody talk about Johnny Cage from Mortal Kombat FOR YEARS. But ever since he was excluded from the roster in the new Mortal Kombat movie, the Johnny Cage stans have come out in full force! “What do you mean Johnny Cage isn’t in the new movie?” they’ll say. “Are they insane?!

Well, no, actually, because he’s already been teased for the possible sequel (and we’ve already picked some potential candidates to play Johnny Cage—and no, Ryan Reynolds isn’t one of them). Due to the success of the first movie, we’re going to assume that a sequel is being considered. And since Johnny Cage will almost certainly be in the sequel since he was teased in the Mortal Kombat ending, we thought we’d drop some star-studded facts about the Cage man himself. And before you even ask, yes, we know that Johnny Cage was originally modeled after Jean-Claude Van Damme. These are story-related facts based on past appearances by the character. So, slip on your $500 sunglasses and come learn some stuff.

Mortal Kombat 1

Johnny Cage Entered The First Mortal Kombat To Prove Himself As An Actor

Johnny Cage is the star of such classics as Dragon Fist and Dragon Fist II, as well as the “award winning” Sudden Violence. Everybody knows that. But at the very beginning of the video game series, a lot of critics thought he needed special effects just to make his moves look real. But along with being a movie star, Johnny Cage was also a really great martial artist. His sensei convinced him to enter the Mortal Kombat tournament in order to prove himself and to (wait for it) test his might.

But you know what? Earthrealm needs its warriors, and Johnny Cage was actually hoodwinked by none other than Shang Tsung who posed as Johnny’s sensei. This was to get Cage to go to the tournament since there are rules to Mortal Kombat, and Shang Tsung was just abiding by them by bringing Johnny Cage on board. Good old Raiden filled him in though once he got there. Because hey, Earthrealm needs to beat Outworld. Otherwise, we’re toast.

Mortal Kombat 2

In MK 2, He Became A More Noble Character And Wanted To Fight With His Friends

Following the events of the first MK tournament, Johnny Cage disappeared from Hollywood, shocking movie fans around the world. But this was only because he was following his new friend, Liu Kang into Outworld, as the ruthless ruler, Shao Khan, was now threatening our existence. This shows growth in Johnny’s character, as he’d rather fight to save the world than save his own flagging movie career.

In the utterly abysmal Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Johnny Cage meets his demise at the hands of Shao Khan since Raiden won’t submit as “Earth does not bend to the will of tyrants.” Unfortunately, Johnny Cage would also not appear again until Mortal Kombat Trilogy, as he missed out on being in Mortal Kombat 3 entirely. But more on that in a few.

Chris Conrad

Johnny Cage Has Died And Been Resurrected In The Past… Multiple Times

Okay, so I hope you’re sitting down for this, but the reports of Johnny Cage’s death have been greatly exaggerated. I’ll try to explain. So, Shao Khan’s evil forces have come down to earth in Mortal Kombat 3, and the centaur, Motaro, kills Johnny Cage. Or was it Kintato who killed him? Actually, it was both of them since the story has been retconned a couple times.

Here’s the crazy part, though. So, with Earthrealm and Outworld becoming one during the events of Mortal Kombat 3, Heaven is kind of in flux. This is how Johnny’s soul comes back to earth, and he lives to fight another day. But I’m not done yet. He was then killed again in the game Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, only to be brought back by Onaga to serve him… But wait, I’m still not done. Cage was also later killed again in the game Mortal Kombat: Armageddon where we see his decapitated head. Since then, Johnny Cage has stayed alive in all the later games. Did you get all that?

Johnny with the chest tattoo

Of Course Johnny Cage Tried To Make A Film About His Own Death

Johnny Cage is not the kind of guy who lets a good death go to waste. So, after coming back from the great beyond, he wanted to make a film about his travels, which feels like something straight out of Bill and Ted story. Anyway, the film is titled, Mortal Kombat: The Death of Johnny Cage, and in said film, he dies over and over again, only to be brought back to life. The tagline for the film is (what else?) “Cage Is Back”.

But Cage thinks the movie sucks and he wants out of the contract, which he can’t just do. But Raiden swoops down (as Raiden is known to do) and tells Johnny that he’s needed for Kombat again, and so Johnny finds a way out of his contract to fight another day. And yes, the Mortal Kombat games are really this ridiculous when it comes to the storyline. I’m not even joking.

Johnny with the Cage belt

Johnny Cage Is Actually The Descendent Of A Cult

Isn’t it kind of weird that Johnny Cage, who is just like this normal dude, has super powers? Well, in Mortal Kombat (the 2021 movie), they explain these powers away with special birthmarks, which… is a choice. But in the reboot title, Mortal Kombat (2011), we learn that Cage actually was bred into a Mediterranean cult whose sole purpose is to prepare them for combat with gods.

Mortal Kombat (2011) tries to retcon a lot of things, though, so its story is often the breaking and merging point of storylines in previous titles. In this story, Raiden actually saves Johnny Cage from Motaro, so it’s almost like a split timeline. It’s weird. Really, really weird.

“Cassie” Cage.

Johnny Cage Has A Daughter With Sonya Blade

And probably the only thing that legitimately makes sense in the Mortal Kombat lineage is the courtship of Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, who get married during the events of Mortal Kombat X. They eventually get divorced since Sonya is a workaholic, but during their marriage, they birth a child together that they name Cassandra Carlton “Cassie” Cage.

Cassie actually becomes a combatant in Mortal Kombat X, and goes into the Special Forces just like her mother, which I’m sure thrilled her father. Interestingly, she also became friends with Jax’s daughter, Jacqui Briggs. So, at least it all stays in the family.

In the end, Johnny Cage has had quite a sprawling backstory. But what do you think? Are you one of Johnny’s biggest fans? Sound off in the poll below what you think of the Hollywood hero.

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Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.