Mortal Kombat 2 Can Fix The Franchise's Worst Johnny Cage Problem

Mortal Kombat 2 can fix a recurring issue that the Mortal Kombat franchise has repeatedly run into of shortchanging Johnny Cage. Earthrealm's warriors in Mortal Kombat 2 will include Johnny Cage after he was teased in the final scene of 2021's Mortal Kombat reboot. With Cole Young (Lewis Tan) headed for Hollywood to recruit Johnny Cage for Earthrealm's fight against Shang Tsung (Chin Han), Mortal Kombat 2 is already setting up a great emphasis on the Hollywood action hero as a major character.


While Johnny Cage has been seen in most Mortal Kombat adaptations, the franchise has fallen into a bizarre habit of sidelining him on multiple occasions. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation is particularly infamous for this, unceremoniously killing off Johnny in the film's opening. The 2010 short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth similarly saw Johnny (Matt Mullins) beheaded by Baraka (Lateef Crowder) in a flashback fight scene. While Johnny was not slain early in the subsequent web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy (season 3 remaining unreleased), he was still badly injured and unable to effectively fight by the end of season 2 (Casper Van Dien succeeding Mullins in the role).

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While Johnny Cage's cockiness and jovial personality make him the source of much of Mortal Kombat's humor, he is still an outstanding martial artist and one of the Earthrealm's greatest defenders. Relegating Johnny to either an early death or leaving him incapacitated and on the bench (though admittedly due to time constraints on the final fight of Mortal Kombat: Legacy season 2) sells short just how longstanding a hero Johnny is to the Mortal Kombat franchise. That makes what Johnny Cage's arcana-fueled Mortal Kombat 2 role could be more reassuring, as the Mortal Kombat reboot seems to have already established him as a central character.

Mortal Kombat 2 Can Do Johnny Cage Right (After So Many MK Adaptations Failed)

Mortal Kombat Lewis Tan and Johnny Cage

The framing of Cole departing for Hollywood to recruit Johnny to fight on behalf of the Earthrealm in Mortal Kombat is clearly presented as a major tease of how important he will be in Mortal Kombat 2. A poster for a Johnny Cage-led action movie titled "Citizen Cage" shown on the wall in Cole's gym plays up the debut of Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat 2 as one of the sequel's most anticipated character additions. The fact that Cole is recruiting him to fight for the Earthrealm also sets up Johnny to be required to learn the ropes of what Mortal Kombat entails, making his arc in the film one that cannot help but be essential to it.

Johnny Cage's upcoming role in Mortal Kombat 2 has also led to the inevitable fan casting for who could take on the quipping and kicking action star for Mortal Kombat 2. Scott Adkins immediately gained traction as a popular choice, while Alain Moussi has also been suggested, both very well-qualified to bring Johnny Cage's high-kicking fighting skills to life. With Ryan Reynolds also fan cast with his fast-talking Deadpool persona perfectly suited for Johnny Cage, the potential candidates who have been nominated for Johnny Cage would also make his role in Mortal Kombat 2 one, which is sure to avoid leaving him underutilized.

Johnny Cage, as part of the cadre of Earthrealm warriors, has brought both comedy and fatalities to the battle for the realms, which makes Johnny frequently falling through the cracks of Mortal Kombat movies and shows a perplexing and regrettable pattern. With a potential Johnny Cage retcon in place, Mortal Kombat set up his arrival to fight for the Earthrealm, one that could finally correct that longstanding issue. Mortal Kombat 2 might finally be the Mortal Kombat movie to truly break that pattern.