A new report regarding the upcoming James Wan produced Mortal Kombat film reveals both Raiden and Mileena have been race swapped.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film cast Supergirl actor Mehcad Brooks to play Jax, Sisi Stringer to play Mileena, and Ludi Lin to play Liu Kang. They also note that Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano is in discussions to play Raiden. (Related: Report: Characters Revealed for New Mortal Kombat Film)
The report notes New Line, the studio behind the project is “aiming to have a diverse international cast as to reflect the global nature of the franchise with actors coming in from the worlds of film, television, and martial arts.”
In the Mortal Kombat games, Mileena has always been portrayed as Asian. Now, black actress Sisi Stringer will play the character. As many fans of the franchise know, Mileena is the clone of Kitana in the game. So it’s easy to deduce that if Stringer is playing Mileena, she’s likely to be playing Kitana. It’s more than likely that both characters will be race swapped from Asian to Black in the reboot film.
A race swapped Mileena/Kitana would mean that they’re willing to change anything and everything in the film. If that’s the case it could leave the movie unrecognizable to many fans.
Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano, who will play Raiden, will be recognizable to Marvel Cinematic Universe fans. He portrayed Thor’s companion Hogun in the Thor films. However,
Raiden was previously portrayed by French actor Christopher Lambert in Paul W.S. Anderson’s original Mortal Kombat film in 1995.
Right out of the gate, it seems that Mortal Kombat is looking to score some woke points in their casting. And instead of ginger characters, such as in the case of The Flash’s Wally West, and the upcoming The Little Mermaid live-action film’s Ariel, it’s Asian characters who are being blackwashed. (Related: Jax’s Mortal Kombat 11 Ending: “I’m Not Waiting Centuries for People to Get Woke”)
This casting news compounds a disappointing year for some fans of the Mortal Kombat franchise. The franchise has been plagued with controversy from the de-beautification of the female Kombatants to reports of a hostile work environment. This casting news doesn’t seem to alleviate that controversy, but only stir up more. 2019 might not be the best year for the franchise.(Related: Mortal Kombat 11 Abandons Female Sex Appeal – Radically Changes Jade, Skarlet, and Sonya Character Designs)
What do you think of this casting news? Will it affect whether or not you’ll go see the movie?