Who should play Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat is a pretty big argument at this point, but it does appear as though the studio responsible for the most recent movie might be taking a serious look at Charlie Hunnam for their next entry into the game-inspired movie. What’s curious though is that while names like The Miz from the WWE, Ryan Reynolds, and James Marsden have been kicked around, fans have agreed that at least a couple of those men might fit the bill for a number of reasons. For one, Johnny Cage has, up until the most recent game, almost always been an egotistical individual that’s still the real deal when it comes to fighting, but is insufferable to most of the people he allies with. Hunnam has played several roles in which his confidence is usually pretty high and he has no trouble making it known that he has a strong personality, but he’s rarely ever been the same kind of jerk that Cage has been throughout many of the games. If the studio is thinking that he could be the guy for this project then it might take some serious convincing that he can come off as the perfect character.
Physically, Hunnam isn’t really imposing, but then neither is Cage. They’re both fit and definitely look like they could scrap, so there’s no issue with Hunnam taking on the physical characteristics of Cage. But the attitude is something that Charlie would really need to work on since in a lot of his performances he’s been more or less the kind of guy that isn’t bound to be seen as weak, but he’s been pretty humble quite often, even if he’s in a position of power or great influence. His time in The Gentlemen with Matthew McConaughey and several other notable stars made it possible to see him as a calm, collected, but very much in control advisor to McConaughey’s character, someone who was kept on to handle problems that arose now and then. But he was still calm, humble, and not given to self-aggrandizement. In fact, in that movie, he was actually really enjoyable, much as he was as Jax Teller in Sons of Anarchy.
Giving Hunnam this role feels as though it wouldn’t be a mistake so much as it would be a challenge. It feels accurate saying that he could easily rise to the challenge and that he might be able to take on the persona of Johnny Cage without too much difficulty, but it might be best if he was allowed to give Johnny a slightly different attitude. Perhaps it might be better to see Cage as more frustrated that he’s not taken seriously as a fighter, much as his inspiration, Jean Claude Van Damme, wasn’t for so long. Sometimes it feels that people need to be reminded that JCVD was the original desire for Cage’s character, but things fell through and it didn’t happen. If Hunnam were to be given leave to play the role of Cage as someone that was simply tired and irritated by the constant need to prove himself to people it might actually go over a little better. Like the first movie, it might draw a lot of criticism, but it does feel as though it would work.
As successful as it was, the reboot still has a lot of issues that need to be dealt with, and the inclusion of Cole Young is one that’s not bound to go away since he was on his way to meet with Cage at the end of the movie apparently. But while the effects were actually pretty cool, the story suffered in a way that was hard to watch. It felt too wooden, the dialogue didn’t always make sense, and the inclusion of a few characters didn’t make a lot of sense considering that they aren’t exactly that popular within the franchise. Plus, the arcana that gave each of the chosen their powers, and the fact that killing a chosen can transfer the arcana, means that virtually anyone could be a Mortal Kombat competitor so long as they kill someone with the mark. Needless to say, fans had something to say about this.
Adding Hunnam to the roster would be only one move for the MK sequel, but it does sound like one that might be embraced since it would mean that Johnny Cage would finally be headed back to the movie that he helped to pioneer by being one of the original characters in the game. Johnny’s exclusion and Cole’s appearance confused and kind of angered quite a few fans, but not enough for the movie to flop. Of course, the promise of a more comprehensive feud between Scorpion and Sub-Zero, which was pared down to a couple of intense fight scenes, might have been nice as well.