ByTim Horton, writer at
Business Development Manager at Universally Speaking. @TimHortonGame | Email: [email protected]
Tim Horton

Twenty years of Mortal Kombat have come and gone. Just last week we celebrated the twentieth anniversary of this iconic fighting series (well we did). To celebrate this astounding milestone we thought we would hit you with a little Mortal Kombat Movie Trivia.

Video game movies tend to get a bad rep and even the iconic Mortal Kombat brand was not short of critics, but I bet you didn't know that the movie was almost an all star cast production.

From our research into the casting it has become disturbingly clear that the Mortal Kombat movie is probably one of the most ill fated productions to hit Hollywood. Shortly after signing up for involvement in the Mortal Kombat movie something odd, painful or tragic happened to many of the actors involved. Take a look.

We have discovered that aside from some of the already fairly big stars that featured in the movie, we could have seen these five superstars take their place amongst the Mortal Kombat Roster.

5. Steve James - Major Jackson "Jax" Briggs

Probably the least famous of our all star cast, but still somewhat of a martial arts movie diva. Steve James is a martial arts expert who was most prevalent back in the '80s and '90s as one of the most popular go-to action movie stars. You may remember him from such films as American Ninja and I'm Gonna Git You Sucka.

James was in line to play the infamous Mortal Kombat character Jax but unfortunately just prior to filming he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1993 and was forced to pull out of filming. Tragically this illness was to take his life later that year.

4. Brandon Lee - Liu Kang

Brandon Lee, son of the famous Bruce Lee, was due to play lightning quick Liu Kang. Brandon Lee starred in several low-budget movies the early 1990s. He was tragically killed in a firearms accident whilst filming the supernatural thriller, The Crow, in 1993. This was just days after agreeing to star in Mortal Kombat.

Lee was accidentally shot with a live round at almost point blank rage from a .44 Magnum. It was during the scene where Lee’s character returns to his apartment to find his fiancée being beaten and raped by thugs.

Lee would have been destined to become the Grand Champion of Mortal Kombat through his character Liu Kang. A title that has actually remained undisputed, within the original timeline.

In my opinion, if he were still with us, Brandon Lee would have made a brilliant Batman!

Liu Kang was instead played by Robin Shou. Another fun fact about Shou is that he trained Milla Jovovich for her role in Resident Evil.

3. Jean-Claude Van Damme - Johnny Cage

Jean-Claude is a Belgian martial artist and actor best known for his roles in Bloodsport and Universal Soldier. Jean-Claude was asked to take on the role of Johnny Cage but Claude decided to side with Street Fighter and play Colonel William F. Guile... hmmm.

Ironically the character of Johnny Cage was based on Jean-Claude Van Damme. As you can imagine this came as a kick in the teeth to the Mortal Kombat crew!

Johnny Cage was instead played by Linden Ashby. Linden Ashby has gone on to star in major blockbusters the likes of Iron Man 3 and Resident Evil: Extinction.

Fun Fact here: Steven Spielberg, an avid fan of video game franchise, was set to make a cameo appearance as the director in Johnny Cage's first scene. However due to scheduling conflicts he was forced to back out.

2. Cameron Diaz - Sonya Blade

The woman that needs no introduction. She rose to stardom in the '90s after she starred opposite Jim Carrey in The Mask. The rest, as they say is history for this talented lady.

Cameron Diaz was set to play the ass kicking character of Sonya Blade. Just weeks to go before filming Cameron Diaz broke her wrist and was unable to take part in the physical side of the filming. Instead of waiting for it to heal the Mortal Kombat crew decided to go with Bridgette Wilson-Sampras from such movies as Billy Madison and I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Bridgette Wilson-Sampras even performed all her own stunts and was nicknamed "RoboBabe" by director Paul W.S. Anderson.

1. Danny Glover - Raiden

Daniel Lebern Glover or Danny Glover to you and me is a brilliant American actor known for his roles is such movies as Predator 2 and Detective Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon.

Danny Glover was tipped to play the highly volatile Mortal Kombat character Raiden. Glover would have stepped into the shoes of the eternal God of Thunder and overall protector of Earthrealm. The reasons behind Glover's retraction from the role are unclear, maybe Glover was unable to find time between the Lethal Weapon movies?

Even big time Bond star Sean Connery was considered for the role!

Raiden was instead brilliantly portrayed by Christopher Lambert, an enthusiastic gamer himself who also voiced Raiden in the French dubbed version of the movie.

What a cast and actually, what a movie!

Even without these mega stars, Mortal Kombat still rose to number one in the box office and although it didn't break any real records it promised a great future for the video game adaption to movie. Things have not gone exactly to plan since this time - I blame the Super Mario Bros movie for this - but it just shows that with the right product and approach we can still see some great video game characters brought to life in Hollywood.

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