Mortal Kombat Star Jessica McNamee Says Sequel ‘Shouldn’t Hire A Big Name’ To Play Johnny Cage

by : Cameron Frew on : 04 May 2021 17:07
Mortal Kombat Star Says Sequel 'Shouldn't Hire A Big Name' To Play Johnny CageWarner Bros.

Mortal Kombat‘s Jessica McNamee, who plays Sonya Blade, doesn’t want the sequel to bag a ‘big name’ for Johnny Cage. 

Warners Bros. has yet to announce a sequel to the video game adaptation, which is due to hit UK screens this week. However, with the surround hype ahead of its release and overjoyed fan reactions, the studio would be foolish to not pursue a larger series.


The film features a roster of classic heroes and villains: Sonya; Kung Lao; Liu Kang; Jax; Raiden; Kano; Scorpion; Sub-Zero; Shang Tsung; Kabal; Mileena; Goro; Nitara; and Reiko. However, there’s a notable absence: Hollywood’s shadow-kicking airhead, Johnny Cage.


For the uninitiated in the ways of MK lore, Cage is an actor and martial artist who enters the titular fighting tournament to prove himself, going on to become a formidable defender of Earthrealm from Outworld and beyond, as well as falling in love with Sonya. The pair later have a child, Cassie Cage, who obliterates competitors’ nuts.

We recently spoke to McNamee about the challenges of video game movies, working alongside Kano’s Josh Lawson and who she’d like to see play Cage, should a follow-up be announced. While Ryan Reynolds is a common fan-pick – and he even joked about it recently – she’d like to see a less high-profile name.

Warner Bros.Warner Bros.

‘We have thrown around ideas,’ she said. ‘See, I think the really great thing about this movie is we’re all actors who’ve worked a significant amount, but we’re not household names. I really like that, I hope they continue that theme.’

‘We get to embody the character, we’re not coming along with this known persona in the public eye, which I think helps people transcend, they get to discover you as they discover the film. I think it would be a disservice if they got some huge name to come in and play this character, I think it’d be great if they cast someone who has really great comedic chops and could spar with Kano,’ she added.

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While Cage doesn’t make an appearance, unlike the movie’s 1995 predecessor, he’s certainly teased. Producer Todd Garner was conscious of the dangers of bringing him in; more specifically, Cage hogging the limelight when the filmmakers were trying to do something more diverse.

At an earlier roundtable, he explained, ‘[Cage is] a very big personality, right? He needs his own space. It’s very hard to just throw him in a movie, like I said, with Kano. So, taking him out was very easy not only for the movie, but for the sequel.’

He added, ‘I want to make a sequel, and I’ve now got Johnny Cage, which hasn’t been used in the first one. So, I have a big stick and carrot that maybe they’ll let me have a Johnny Cage real presence in the second one.’

You can rent the movie premiere of Mortal Kombat at home from May 6.


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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Gaming, Mortal Kombat