Mortal Kombat 2 Has Cast Its Greatest Icon

A Star Trek and The Boys star is signing on to his second video game movie.

Originally Published: 
Johnny Cage in 'Mortal Kombat 11' Kombat

Karl Urban is gonna nut punch a dude.

On Thursday, TheWrap reported that Urban is in “final talks” to play fan favorite character Johnny Cage in the sequel to the 2021 film Mortal Kombat. While Cage was left out of the first film, its post-credits scene teased his arrival for the sequel. Filming is set to begin this summer in Australia, with Simon McQuoid returning to the director’s chair.

Johnny Cage is loosely inspired by ‘90s action star Jean Claude Van Damme, whose own canceled arcade game was the impetus for the creation of Mortal Kombat in 1992. (Cage’s signature “Nut Cracker” move is lifted from Van Damme in the 1988 movie Bloodsport.) Cage stands out in the franchise’s mythos as a vain Hollywood star who enters the ancient martial arts tournament, staged by gods to determine the fate of the world, to advance his career. He was first played in live-action by Linden Ashby in the 1995 film.

Cage isn’t the main protagonist, but he’s undoubtedly one of the most popular characters due to his sense of humor and try-hard, show-off attitude. In one of Cage’s most infamous fatalities, Cage gifts his victims an autographed headshot before finishing them off. In the most recent entry of the games, Mortal Kombat 11, one of Cage’s fatalities places him on a movie set.

Karl Urban, currently starring on The Boys, is in “final talks” to star in Mortal Kombat 2 as Johnny Cage.

Barry Brecheisen/WireImage/Getty Images

Urban is a good fit for an outsized personality like Johnny. The actor has shown off his range across multiple blockbuster franchises, including Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Marvel (in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok), and most recently, the Emmy-nominated Amazon hit The Boys. Mortal Kombat 2 wouldn’t even be Urban’s first video game movie; in 2005, he co-starred in Doom alongside Rosamund Pike and Dwayne Johnson.

While Urban’s New Zealand accent and dangerous energy seen in The Boys might make him a better fit for other Mortal Kombat characters — such as Kano, a smarmy Australian mercenary — there’s no question Urban has the charisma needed to make Johnny Cage leap out of the screen. That Urban is something a movie star himself may also be an opportunity for Urban to stretch his comedic muscles in a self-deprecating fashion, and that can only make fans love Johnny Cage even more.

There is currently no release date for Mortal Kombat 2.

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