There have been rumors about a new Mortal Kombat movie for about as long as I can remember. James Wan of Saw and Aquaman fame signed on to make it back in 2015, and now there are rumors of a 2021 release date. So far the casting rumors are few and far between, with even fewer holding any legitimacy. So in a new series called Type-Casting, where I type out my casting (get it) for a movie adaptation I’d like to see, I tackle Mortal Kombat.
Type-Casting: Mortal Kombat
Liu Kang: Ludi Lin
The great thing about a series with so many main characters is that you can take someone who hasn’t really had the star-breaking performance yet and slip them into a big role, and that’s my idea for Ludi Lin as the chosen one, Liu Kang. Regrettably, he was attached to the bad, bad, bad Power Rangers movie, but he’s not responsible for that film, just as Robert Pattinson isn’t responsible for Twilight. Throw in the fact that A. Lin has a martial arts background and B. he has a history with director James Wan, and it makes a lot of sense for me.
Sonya Blade: Evan Rachel Wood
First thing’s first, as a lover of the Mortal Kombat games, I’ll say this right now, I’m not seeing this movie if Ronda Rousey is Sonya Blade. She was wooden in the video game, and frankly, I’d rather have Becky Lynch in the role anyway.
But that’s not the point. Here’s why I settled on Evan Rachel Wood as Mortal Kombat’s kick ass cop. She showed her bad ass side on TV as her character on WestWorld took a turn, and she’s proving to be a badass in real life as well.
Johnny Cage: Ryan Reynolds
I was trying to think of a big-name action star that could be over-the-top cheesy and snarky while still being likeable, and I’ll be honest, it was a real face-palm moment. Reynolds is in between big projects while Disney finds out how to use Deadpool, and I could absolutely see him filling the role of reluctant savior of the planet.
Kitana: Elodie Yung
If you haven’t seen Netflix’s Daredevil, first of all, what’s wrong with you? Drop everything, go watch it. Secondly, you’re missing the definitive portrayal of the Elektra character. Maybe it’s just me being a simple man, but if you can play Elektra, a ninja assassin princess (kinda), then you can definitely play Kitana, who is, by definition, a ninja assassin princess.
Raiden: Michael Fassbender
I played with a lot of names for Earthrealm’s shock-y defender, and honestly, I flirted with the idea of putting Henry Rollins here. Talk about instant street cred for your video game movie. But ultimately I went with Fassbender, who I felt like could be stoic but demanding, light-hearted but stern, and the father figure for our heroes.
Shao Kahn: Jason Momoa
You need a big hollywood name for the primary antagonist of the series, and something about Aquaman underneath Kahn’s trademark helmet just makes sense. Not to mention, Momoa worked with director James Wan before so there’s some kind of familiarity. Momoa doesn’t have to do much except look intimidating and carry a big stick. Sold?
Shang Tsung: Robin Chou
I was very tempted, as most people probably are, to put Ken Wantanabe here, but then I had a moment of clarity and came up with Robin instead. A bit of fan service see’s Chou, who played Liu Kang in the original Mortal Kombat movie, return to the series as the first baddie that the heroes encounter. Just imagine the moment he stares down the camera and says “your soul is mine.”
Kano: Manu Bennett
Reportedly, Manu is already linked to the role, and honesly, I’m all about it. Technically, Manu is from New Zealand, not Australia, but now that I’ve got the image in my mind, I can’t shake it. He already played a gruff mercenary as Slade Wilson in the CW’s Arrow,
Goro: Thor Bjornsson
Goro is a giant, hulk of a beast of few words, so why not go full-tilt and get the hulkiest giant there is? Thor Bjornsson might’ve dropped the title of “world’s strongest man” over the weekend, but he’s easily still the world’s biggest celebrity, and I mean that literally. Just uh… stay away from Johnny’s sunglasses, okay big guy?
Everyone’s Favorite Ninjas
Sub-Zero (Bi-Han): Tony Jaa
One of the most easily recognizable names in martial arts films, Tony Jaa is a legend in the industry. But did you know that he was the stunt double for Robin Chou’s Liu Kang in the no-good, dirty rotten, very bad Mortal Kombat: Annihilation? But what if he returned to the series as it’s most iconic character? (Fight me, Scorpion mains).
Plus, you can keep Jaa as Noob Saibot and bring in someone younger like Iko Uwais as Kuai Liang.
Scorpion: Donnie Yen
Yep, I’m gonna sell you a movie where Donnie Yen (IP Man) and Tony Jaa have a fight. If I honestly have to explain that to you, then go watch literally any martial arts movie.