Making good on its predecessor’s ending teaser, it seems Warner Bros. Discovery’s upcoming sequel to their Mortal Kombat reboot will finally see Johnny Cage enter the ring – and actor Karl Urban appears to be the leading choice to portray the pompous hero in his return to the silver screen.
Per The Wrap, the Dredd and The Boys star “is in final talks” with the studio to secure the role of the fighting franchise’s resident movie star.
Should he agree, Urban would be the first confirmed cast member of director Simon McQuoid’s second outing into Earthrealm, as despite how the last film strongly implied that Lewis Tan’s Cole Young would play a major part in the series going forward and Sub-Zero actor Joe Taslim has confirmed that his contract encompassed four further appearances as the Lin Kuei’s champion, both actors have yet to be officially announced as returing.
(While producer Todd Garner did recently share a photo of himself alongside Taslim and Shang Tsung actor Chin Han alongside the simple caption “2…”, given the ever-evolving nature of Hollywood productions, the actors cannot be considered ‘confirmed’ prior to an official studio announcement).
His existence revealed in the very final seconds of Mortal Kombat, wherein a poster for the actor’s latest film can be seen hanging in the locker room at the aforementioned Young’s gym as the fledgling hero leaves to recruit him into the battle against Otherworld, Cage’s absence was perhaps the most prominent criticism leveled at the film.
In a post-release interview given to Variety, McQuoid explained that the decision to cut one of the video games’ original roster members was done because “he’s such a giant personality that he almost has his own gravitational field.”
“The feeling was that he would throw it out of balance slightly,” he continued. “I get asked about Kitana just as much as Johnny Cage. There’s a lot of interesting characters, story and material to work with. So we haven’t really dug into it; we just know we’re very privileged that’s sitting there. If we do get to that, and I’m not saying we will, I’m just saying if — big ‘if’ — then we’ll go down that path.
However, while Urban is an excellent actor and his casting as Cage would undoubtedly bring some star power to the franchise, he doesn’t – at least historically – give off the right type of ‘energy’ to properly embody the character.
Urban more often than not gives off a sort of ‘right bastard’ energy that lends itself to gruff-yet-charming characters, as seen in his portrayals of Billy Butcher in The Boys, Dr. Bones McCoy in Star Trek, and Skurge in Thor: Ragnarok.
Meanwhile, as an an arrogant narrcissist who only joined the original Mortal Kombat tournament in order to prove that he did all his own stunts, Cage’s character is more akin to that of the prototypical ‘douchebag’.
As such, it seems like it would be more beneficial to the role to cast someone like Top Gun: Marverick‘s Glen Powell or even current WWE roster member Michael “The Miz” Mizanin – the latter of whom not only actually expressed interest in the role, but also received an endorsement for his potential casting from Mortal Kombat co-creator himslef Ed Boon.
As of writing, Urban has yet to formally sign on to McQuoid’s second Mortal Kombat film.