One of the OG characters of the Mortal Kombat Franchise has been omitted from Warner Bros latest reboot of the franchise due out later this year and the reason why has everything to do with race.
Mortal Kombat producer Todd Garner in an interview with Inverse explained why the filmmakers decided to create a new character while removing one of the original eight classic characters, Johnny Cage from the film.
The character of Johnny Cage is an arrogant action movie star who enters the Mortal Kombat tournament as a hero and later becomes a love interest of Sonya Blade, another original character. However for this new movie, WB introduces the character of Cole Young played by Asian actor Lewis Tan. Why you ask? Because casting white men as heroes in 2021 is not progressive.
Garner stated, “I feel like if I was getting to make a movie with a diverse cast, it felt weird to have a white actor, literally Johnny Cage, be the hero of the story.” Garner says, adding that these discussions took place at the start of the movie’s pre-production nearly seven years ago “way before Black Lives Matter” and other pushes for diversity across industries including Hollywood. According to the outlet, the creation of Cole young was a response to the unsavory idea of a white character (like Johnny Cage) being the hero who saves everyone.
That’s right, white men are not allowed to be heroes in movies, even if the movie is based on a series in which said white guy is the hero.
The decision was very telling seeing how Kano, another original white character IS in the movie however Kano is a villain. So the filmmakers had no problem displaying white characters that are evil, they just couldn’t allow a white guy in the film to be perceived as good. Other questionable decisions the film makes is casting a black woman in the role of ‘Mileena’ and toning down the violence from what is seen in the games.
“Compared to the game, we’re like Bambi,” says Garner. “We’re like a G-rated movie compared to the game. The game is just incredibly operatic in terms of the violence, and the Motion Picture Association of America would never let us do that much violence.”
Progressives are rapidly fanning the flames of racial hatred and tensions in this country and they won’t be happy until we live in a world divided by racial lines. Dumb decisions like this is how we are going to get to that world sooner than later.
Mortal Kombat (2021) releases in theaters and HBO Max on April 16th.