MORTAL KOMBAT Writer Says Lewis Tan's Character Cole Young Was A Studio-Mandated Addition

Fans were wondering why the Mortal Kombat reboot needed to add a new protagonist when there were plenty of established characters that would've fit the bill, and we now know why Cole Young was introduced.

Based on everything we’ve seen so far, Mortal Kombat has done a great job of adapting most of the classic combatants from the video games, but one addition has baffled fans: Lewis Tan's Cole Young.

Introduced as the new main protagonist, Young is a down-on-his luck MMA fighter who joins the likes of Sonya, Jax, and Liu Kang to battle Shang Tsung's forces. So, why not just make his character Johnny Cage?

During an interview with Inverse, screenwriter Greg Russo revealed that Cole's addition was "something the studio wanted."

"The new protagonist was an idea loaded in prior to my involvement," Russo admitted. "I inherited a script in 2016, and that had the new protagonist in it, but it had no tie to the mythology of Mortal Kombat. I thought, if we're going to do it, I want to make sure we do it right and that this character fits into the mythology in an organic way."

Spoilers for Mortal Kombat follow.

As most of you will be aware by now, Cole is actually revealed to be a descendant of Hanzo Hasashi, and may well suit-up as the new Scorpion at some point. We also know that Johnny Cage's debut is set-up for a potential sequel at the end of the movie.

You can check out the first wave of Mortal Kombat reviews here.

In “Mortal Kombat,” MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage—or why Outworld's Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family's safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark.

Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana—the immense power from within his soul—in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all?

Mortal Kombat is set for a simultaneous release in theaters and on HBO Max on April 23.

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