Cage Using His Abilities For Personal Fame Would Offer A Perfec

  • The Mortal Kombat sequel could have movie star Johnny Cage using his Arcana for the special effects in his films — rather than having him discover his supernatural powers. The 2021 Mortal Kombat reboot set up franchise icon Johnny Cage to be in the sequel. In addition to streamlining the story, having Cage using his abilities for personal fame would offer a perfect opportunity to establish his character and what sets him apart from Earthrealm's other champions.


    Johnny Cage has been a mainstay of the Mortal Kombat series since the first arcade game was released in 1992. Originally Cage was named Michael Grimm, though he maintained the same background as a cinematic action hero who wanted to prove his bona fides as a martial arts master. Grimm was based on the movie Bloodsport, so Midway Games approached Jean-Claude Van Damme about licensing his name and likeness to make him a playable fighter. Van Damme declined the offer, which led to Michael Grimm being reworked into a comedic parody of Hollywood action hero actors and renamed Johnny Cage.


    The fact that Cage was not a part of the 2021 Mortal Kombat movie was a major disappointment for fans of the character. Thankfully, the movie did make reference to Cage existing in its universe and the final scene teased his inclusion in a sequel. This raised several questions, however, regarding how to adapt Johnny Cage's story from the games into the setting of the film and how his unique powers might be explained within the context of the film's concept of Arcana — the gift from the Elder Gods that grants special powers to Earthrealm's champions.


    Who Is Johnny Cage In Mortal Kombat?


    The first Mortal Kombat game introduced Jonathan Carlton as an actor who found fame under the stage name Johnny Cage. Despite his success playing various action hero roles, Cage wanted to prove to the world that his combat skills were legitimate and that he didn't have to depend on stunt doubles and special effects like other actors. This led to Cage entering the Mortal Kombat tournament, hoping to silence his critics with a victory in the legendary event. Despite his vanity and selfish motivations, Johnny Cage was recruited into the protectors of Earthrealm by the thunder god Raiden, who told Cage of the real stakes behind the tournament and the dire fate that awaited humanity if they failed. Presented with something to fight for besides his own glory, Cage truly became the hero he thought he was, defying death itself to return to join his allies in the battle against Outworld on two separate occasions.


    Johnny Cage went on to become a staple of the franchise. The 2011 Mortal Kombat reboot changed his backstory somewhat, characterizing Johnny Cage as the descendant of an ancient cult that bred warriors to act as agents of the gods. This was used to explain the various energy powers Cage exhibited in the original games. His power manifested as a green energy that enhanced the strength of his blows and allowed him brief bursts of super-speed while fighting. Johnny Cage was also able to manifest the energy as a plasma-based projectible. Note: Neeson Has Proven Himself The Definition Of Versatility


    Johnny Cage's Arcana & Powers Explained


    In the original Mortal Kombat '90s games, Johnny Cage is an excellent martial artist whose skills are supplemented by supernatural abilities. He shoots a green energy bolt out of his hands (which was altered and updated with each sequel game) and has a shadow kick ability. In addition to these special moves, he has an infamous crotch-punch and — in some later versions of the game — the ability to use comedic items that relate to his personality, like using a camera or a pen against an opponent.


    The cult backstory will almost certainly be eschewed in the reality of the 2021 Mortal Kombat movie since the supernatural powers of Earth's champions (or Arcana) have already been explained. Arcana are unique to those warriors who manifest a Dragon Mark indicating they were chosen by the Elder Gods to act as representatives of their realm. The green energy that Johnny Cage manifests while fighting could easily be symbolic of his Arcana.


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    How Johnny Cage Fits Into Mortal Kombat 2


    The final scene of the 2021 Mortal Kombat movie set the stage for Johnny Cage's introduction into the film franchise, with Cole Young telling a fight promoter that he was heading to Hollywood and that his days of fighting for $200 a night were done. When the promoter asked what was in Hollywood that was so important, Young replied, "Not what. Who," before walking past a poster for the Johnny Cage movie Citizen Cage. This established both Johnny Cage's existence in the Mortal Kombat film universe and that he was among the warriors Raiden wished to recruit to fight a promised invasion from Outworld after Raiden's chosen warriors bested the Outworld champions led by Shang Tsung.


    While the poster confirms that Johnny Cage exists in the world of the 2021 Mortal Kombat movie, there is nothing to directly indicate that he has manifested his Aracna or that he displays his powers as part of his movies if he has. However, establishing these facts in the Mortal Kombat sequel would offer several benefits. The chief one is that Johnny Cage entering the story as a fighter who has already found his special powers would eliminate any tedious training scenes where he must discover and master his Arcana — a task the rest of the heroes already accomplished by the time the first film ended, and one which many fans felt slowed down the film's second act.


    One solution would be for Mortal Kombat 2 to reveal that Johnny Cage developed his Arcana on his own — and that it was a major part of his rise to fame in the action movie world. The tricky part for screenwriters would be explaining how Cage managed to develop this power in total ignorance of its significance; yet, this could easily be justified by Cage's shallow nature and his not caring how his powers work so long as they work. He could even dismiss his Dragon Mark as one of his trademark tattoos: one he presumably acquired after a night of partying he was too drunk to remember fully (assuming he wasn't born with it like Cole Young was).


    Additionally, Johnny Cage already having already manifested his Arcana and using his powers on-camera before Cole Young and the rest of the Chosen Ones find him would offer a way to acknowledge Cage's original reason for entering the Mortal Kombat tournament in the games: proving to the world that he isn't a fake. Cage's main motivation when he first joined the ranks of Earth's champions was proving that he truly was capable of the amazing feats he accomplished on-screen. While he could still have the same heel-face turn that he did in the games, learning responsibility to match his newfound power, he could still play a comedic role, trying to convince various producers that the energy he's manifesting is proof of his divine destiny and not some sleight-of-hand trick.