Even though Johnny Cage was one of the original fighters featured in the very first Mortal Kombat game, he hasn’t appeared in all of the sequels. Because of that, it could be argued he’s not quite as iconic as, say, Scorpion or Sub-Zero, but the old-schoolers among us do view him in high regard.
Still, the character did appear in two live action movies and a web series, so his legacy holds strong. If you’ve been around long enough, then you probably associate actor Linden Ashby with him, as he did play the cocky martial artist in 1995’s Mortal Kombat flick.
Speaking of Ashby, ComicBook.com recently asked if he would reprise the role for the upcoming reboot, to which he responded:
“Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think it would be … I know that it’s not going to be about Johnny Cage and Liu Kang and Katana and Sonya. But it’s like, you gotta hand off the franchise.”
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Given how this is a reboot with an all-new cast, I just don’t see that happening – but there’s no law saying Ashby can’t play some sort of other role in it. Even Shang Tsung has been recast (Chin Han landed the gig), despite Cary Tagawa forever being associated with the villain. Not only did that guy play the sorcerer opposite Ashby in 1995, but he did so again in the aforementioned web series – and his likeness was even used in the Mortal Kombat 11 video game.
In case you were wondering how Linden views both that web series and 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, I guess it’s not that favorably. Here’s what he had to say about those:
“And I don’t think that Mortal Kombat 2 or whatever was indicative of what Mortal Kombat 1 was. And I’ve never really watched any of the series. I mean I know a Casper Van Dien and he’s like, ‘I’m Johnny Cage,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, okay.’”
Mortal Kombat arrives in theaters on March 5th, 2021.