The Mortal Kombat movie had to have Fatalities to be an accurate representation of the series' universe, and naturally, that meant some characters had to die. Some of those deaths were anticipated before the movie's release either because of good guesses or because Fatalities got shared online outright pre-release, but others came as a surprise. In true Mortal Kombat fashion, however, a character's death doesn't mean that they're truly gone for good, and one actor is indicating that their fighter may return in some form or another in the future.
Spoiler Warning: Significant Spoilers for the Mortal Kombat Movie Are Found Below
The death in the Mortal Kombat movie we're referring to is, unsurprisingly, Kung Lao's. Played by actor Max Huang, Kung Lao was the only character on the Earthrealm team who was killed off before the climax of Mortal Kombat with his death at the hands of Shang Tsung prompting characters to split off into their 1v1 fights.
Kung Lao fans, hear me!
As Albert Einstein used to say:
“Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.”— Max Huang (@themaxhuang) April 27, 2021
But if we're to assume correctly what Huang means by the tweet above, that probably won't be the last of Kung Lao Mortal Kombat viewers have seen. A sequel to the film is inevitable, that much we can know, and considering how Huang emphasized the idea of energy being "changed from one form to another," it seems like Kung Lao isn't gone for good.
That detail, tease, or whatever you want to call it isn't too surprising itself since Mortal Kombat characters are notorious for finding ways around death. Scorpion himself is one of several characters in the series who was reanimated after death to seek his fiery vengeance with others like Noob Saibot coming back to life in various forms as well, though Noob wasn't in the movie. The circumstances of these revivals vary from character to character, but the lesson learned from those returns is that death isn't permanent in the Mortal Kombat series.
That also goes to say that even if Kung Lao is brought back in the sequel, he might not be the same as when we last saw him. Sometimes characters are reincarnated with different motives and, effectively, different identities entirely. Sometimes they flip sides after reincarnation. Kung Lao himself was brought back as a revenant in the current timeline of Mortal Kombat games continuing most recently with Mortal Kombat 11. There's also the chance that Shang Tsung could be defeated thus releasing his grasp over Kung Lao's soul.
No plans for the Mortal Kombat sequel have officially been announced yet, but expect to see Kung Lao in it in some capacity whenever it's released.