Now that the new Mortal Kombat film has finally made its debut in theaters and on HBO Max, it's only a matter of time before a sequel is officially announced. Although the movie drew mixed reactions from critics, audiences loved just how much the movie stayed true to the video game franchise it was based on.
With that said, one thing that we can expect from the Mortal Kombat sequel is the appearance of Johnny Cage. The movie ends with protagonist Cole Young heading to Hollywood to try and recruit one of Earthrealm's newest champions - the action movie star and martial artist Johnny Cage, who is based on Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Considering that it's nearly guaranteed that we'll see Johnny Cage make an appearance in Mortal Kombat 2, we decided to have fun and hypothesize who we think can play him. Below are some of our picks!
Channing Tatum's presence hasn't been felt in recent years. Or, at least not as much roughly around a decade ago where he starred in multiple big-budget films every year. However, after spending a couple of years out of the limelight, the Magic Mike actor is set to appear a bit more frequently soon. For starters, Tatum is set to star and co-direct in Dog in 2021 and will make an appearance in Wingmen, a film directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
So, who's to say that Channing Tatum might not be up to star as Johnny Cage in the Mortal Kombat sequel? We already know that he's got the chops to do action films. He's starred in both 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street, as well as the universally panned but commercially successful blockbuster film, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Plus, he's a natural athlete that played soccer, football, baseball, and ran track in his younger years, while also performing martial arts.
Considering that he's got the stunning good looks and the right build, it's not hard to imagine him as the overconfident and self-deluded Johnny Cage.
In a way, you can take the same argument for Channing Tatum being a good choice for Johnny Cage and apply it to Zac Efron. This isn't to say that he won't bring his own unique twist to the role though. In fact, he might even end up being a better choice for Johnny Cage than Channing Tatum.
The Highschool Musical alum has successfully transitioned from a boy next door to one of the hunkiest and hottest dudes in Hollywood. Sure, he doesn't have that much in the way of action movies. Arguably the closest thing that Zac Efron has to a fight scene in a movie is his fight with Seth Rogen in the 2014 comedy film, Neighbors. But, hey, he's got the looks down pat. Give him a few months of training, and who knows?
Ryan Reynolds is an excellent actor. He's proven his range by acting in a lot of different films throughout his career and he'd be perfect for a role in Mortal Kombat. His personality in some of his films even echoes that of Johnny Cage, although we'd argue that Deadpool is nowhere near as overconfident and self-centered as Mortal Kombat's resident douchebag.
Of course, it's not just us who's noticed this, as there are hordes of fans who are dying to see Ryan Reynolds as Johnny Cage in the next Mortal Kombat film. When you think about how many action movies and R-rated films Ryan Reynolds has been throughout his career, we wouldn't be surprised if he ever did sign on to play Johnny Cage.
Michael Gregory Mizanin, otherwise known as The Miz, has the looks and the character down. One could argue that his character in WWE, The Miz, is the living and breathing embodiment of Johnny Cage. However, Johnny Cage is a multi-layered character and he's not always all bravado, as we've seen in recent Mortal Kombat games. That part of Johnny Cage's character is something that we don't know if The Miz can pull off successfully.
Still, as far as which actor is the closest to having had experience playing someone like Johnny Cage, Mizanin has a leg up over others.
Before he was known as America's ass due to his role as Captain America in the MCU, Chris Evans had a variety of roles that would make him a perfect candidate for Johnny Cage. For example, he previously portrayed the cocky and brash superhero, Human Torch, in 2005's Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Meanwhile, his role as Lucas Lee in 2010's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was pretty much Johnny Cage already.
With nearly a decade of experience with action scenes with the MCU, Chris Evans would be an easy pick should the Mortal Kombat sequel prefer someone who's also a real-life Hollywood superstar to play as Johnny Cage.
Eric Jacobus, who? We know. We understand your confusion. You probably don't know who Eric Jacobus is. However, for those who have followed him online, he's a logical choice. He's uploaded videos of himself performing Tekken characters movies and has even acted in martial arts films in the past, albeit most of them were comedic in nature. He also knows how to bring characters to life as evidenced by him being the combat motion capture actor for Kratos in 2018's God of War.
Casper Van Dien
52-year-old Casper Van Dien is one of the more unique actors on our list and it's not just because of his age. Rather, it's because he actually played Johnny Cage before. He took over the role of Johnny Cage in the second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy, a web series anthology based on the Mortal Kombat video games that aired in the early 2010s.
When you consider that he's actually played Johnny Cage before (and quite adequately at that) and the fact that he closely resembles Johnny Cage from the video games, he's as close to a no-brainer can get despite his age.
According to Josh Lawson, who plays the traitorous mercenary, Kano, in the Mortal Kombat cinematic reboot, Sonic the Hedgehog's James Mardsen, who previously played Cyclops in the original X-Men live-action movies, has a "Johnny Cage vibe" and that he could pull off the character.
Sure, he'd probably need to bulk up a bit to play Johnny Cage in the Mortal Kombat sequel. Not to mention, he'll have to free up his schedule. Marsden is currently set to appear in the sequel to last year's video game adaptation, Sonic the Hedgehog, while also making regular appearances in Dead to Me, a Netflix black comedy series that stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini.