James Wan was first brought on to produce a new live-action adaptation of the Mortal Kombat video game franchise over three years ago. Mortal Kombat was put on hold for a couple of years while he finished Aquaman, but it was recently announced that the film would begin filming in Australia for a 2021 release from director Simon McQuoid.
This latest development has led many fans to begin speculating about which characters we might see in the upcoming adaptation, with franchise mainstays like Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Johnny Cage, Liu Kang, Raiden, and Shang Tsung all likely to appear. So, today, without covering some of the obvious choices, we're going to look at 10 characters we hope to see in James Wan's Mortal Kombat.
10 CASSIE CAGE
While it might at first seem odd to include the daughter of original franchise stars Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade (considering the new film will likely reboot the franchise), we don't know that much about the film yet, and it's possible it could take place at any point in Mortal Kombat's lengthy timeline.
Cassie Cage debuted in Mortal Kombat X and serves as the best possible mash-up of both iconic characters. She is also the leader of her own Special Forces team, which could showcase some of the fighters who defend Earth from criminal organizations and other-dimensional threats.
Kabal debuted in Mortal Kombat 3 with a very unique appearance for the game, beginning to include a rich backstory like many of Mortal Kombat's characters. The masked and respirator-wearing Kabal was scarred and deformed by the forces of Shao Kahn (Kintaro in the reboot) and has switched between good and evil throughout the franchise history.
One of Kabal's defining characteristics is his incredible speed, which actually makes him the fastest character in the game's huge roster of fighters. Kabal's anti-hero traits mixed with his unique appearance and hook swords would work well in live-action, and provide a great alternative to the usual ninja character skins that have appeared in the game over the years.
Shao Kahn is a hard villain to top, and has been one of the largest threats the Mortal Kombat franchise has ever seen. It's entirely likely he will still be the main antagonist of the film, but as seen recently in Mortal Kombat 11, there is another possible villain for the film to explore: one who has manipulated key moments in the MK mythology for years.
Kronika may be new to the franchise, but she has proven to be an incredible villain with a deadly goal: to wipe out the MK timeline and restart it from scratch. As this may be a possible plot point given the film's potential status as a reboot, Kronika may prove to be the replacement for Shao Kahn that could help kick off the new take on the franchise.
As for Shao Kahn's wife Sindel, the Queen of Outworld will hopefully appear in the new film for a number of reasons. As the mother of Princess Kitana (another mainstay we'd expect to see in the film), she would help flush out the mythology of the tournament and its main players.
It also has to be mentioned that Sindel is a huge threat to be reckoned with, as we've seen her efficient deadliness in action before. Mortal Kombat 9 featured a quick but brutal cutscene of Sindel as she took on the Earthrealm warriors, wiping out almost every "kombatant" with little to no effort. We'd love to see a similar moment with Sindel adapted for the big screen.
Sektor first appeared in Mortal Kombat 3 as a member of the Lin Kuei clan of ninja assassins, which has included other famous members like Sub-Zero, Cyrax, and Smoke. Sektor was one of the few members of the clan who embraced the decision to enhance their assassins with cybernetics, and has furthered his own advancement to lead a team of cybernetic ninja assassins known as the Tekunin.
Sektor's acceptance of the enhancement of the Lin Kuei clan allowed him to retain his own personality, which became colder and more evil as the franchise continued. His clanmate Cyrax was against the cybernetic enhancements, so his mind was wiped and reprogrammed, making both characters interesting additions to any live-action adaptation.
We already mentioned Princess Kitana, stepdaughter of Shao Kahn who fights with the warriors of Earth against her Outworld family. Shao Kahn chose to raise the daughter of the vanquished ruler of the Edenia realm, though he feared she would eventually betray him. So Kahn instructed Shang Tsung to create a loyal clone of Kitana, in case he should ever need to replace her.
This clone was Mileena, who was physically identical to Kitana in almost every way except for a ferociously fanged mouth, which was a result of the process used to create her. Mileena only briefly appeared in the less than impressive Mortal Kombat: Annihilation so it would be great to see her character given another shot at the big screen.
The first appearance of Ermac, in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, featured a red palette-swapped Scorpion that paid off a long-running joke created by a glitch from the original Mortal Kombat game. Fan speculation eventually led to the creation of a character named Ermac that even adopted some of the fan-theorized designs, despite developers previously insisting that Ermac did not exist.
Ermac's character was heavily fleshed out in later games, and he became a mystical ninja who was actually the repository of dead souls collected by Outworld and Shang Tsung. These souls gave Ermac many cinematic friendly abilities, like flight and telekinesis.
While the majority of the characters on our list are human (or close enough when it comes to cyborgs) in appearance, Baraka represents the more demonic side of the franchise. The monstrous Baraka is part of a race known as the Tarkatans, who were conquered by Shao Kahn and now live to serve him.
Baraka debuted in Mortal Kombat II and wasn't immediately popular due to some flawed fight mechanics, but those issues were resolved in later games. Baraka's unique appearance when compared to the rest of the roster and his weapon of choice (twin retractable blades housed in his forearms), make him a fan-favorite character who would look great on the big screen.
2 NOOB SAIBOT
Originally appearing as a secret character in Mortal Kombat II, Noob Saibot has quickly become a fan-favorite character with a rich backstory. While not appearing as the playable Noob Saibot character until Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, he actually first appeared as Bi-Han, the original Sub-Zero, in the first Mortal Kombat.
Following his death and replacement as Sub-Zero by his younger brother, the Lin Kuei assassin was resurrected as Noob Saibot, a dark and evil wraith of the former Bi-Han. The character's name is another fun detail from the developers, as it is a reverse amalgamation of Mortal Kombat creators Ed Boon and John Tobias.
1 QUAN CHI
The true evil mastermind of the Mortal Kombat franchise is the dialbolical sorcerer Quan Chi, who first appeared in the Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm animated series before making the transition into the games. This revealed his connections to the various other fighters, most notably Scorpion and Sub-Zero (Bi-Han).
Quan Chi's desire to rule the realms by any means possible (and his ability to resurrect the fallen fighters as dark versions of their former selves) make him an ideal candidate to appear in the new film. As one of the games' most adept and dangerous sorcerers, he would match almost any villain seen on screen before, and add a new depth to the various backstories of some of Mortal Kombat's fan-favorite characters.