The first Mortal Kombat movie holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers. Released in theaters in 1995, the film managed to capture the spirit of the source material, while delivering an experience that had plenty of action and humor. A huge part of that humor came from the character Johnny Cage, portrayed by actor Linden Ashby.
“It's funny, a few years ago I went and saw a screened version of it at Man's Chinese. The movie, it doesn't hold up effects wise, but it's great,” Ashby told Comicbook.com. “It's a fun movie and it's got heart and it's got this really unique mix of heart and fun and adventure and it just fucking works.”
Apparently, much of that fun wasn’t in the initial script, instead stemming from Ashby playing up on the atmosphere on-set. Cage adds some much-needed comic relief throughout a movie where a number of characters meet their untimely demise.
“When we see Goro's shadow or whatever, and I think I'm with Sonya and Liu Kang. I can't remember exactly. I'm like, ‘Okay, you go down there and you,’ and it's all that kind of stuff was just all made up. I don't think "$500 sunglasses" was in there.”
The “$500 sunglasses” line Ashby is referring to is arguably one of the most memorable in the film. Towards the end of the movie, the villain Goro crushes Johnny’s sunglasses in an attempt at intimidation. A short bit later, however, Cage gets the last laugh, delivering an iconic quip before permanently dispatching the villain. That wasn’t the only line Ashby came up with in the heat of the moment, however.
"’Thank God I didn't ask him to park the car," all those dumb little things. They were just sort of throwaway moments,” said Ashby. “And it was, I dunno, it was fun. It was definitely fun.”
For fans that grew up with the movie, it’s nice to see Ashby wax nostalgic about the project. All too often, movies based on licensed properties (and video games in particular) are plagued by nightmarish requests, poor fan reception and fragile egos. It certainly seems clear that Ashby enjoyed his tenure as Johnny Cage as much as the viewers did. So much so, in fact, that Ashby mentioned in a previous interview that he would be open to returning in another film.
“Absolutely. Absolutely,” Ashby told ComicBook.com when asked if he’d be up for returning as Johnny Cage in a sequel. “And I think it would be … I know that it's not going to be about Johnny Cage and Liu Kang and Katana and Sonya. But it's like, you gotta hand off the franchise.”
Time will tell if Ashby gets that opportunity, whether it's in the upcoming reboot, or perhaps another film. Are you a fan of the original Mortal Kombat movie? What are your thoughts on the upcoming reboot? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!