The upcoming Mortal Kombat movie is set to boast a wide cast of characters. From iconic fighters such as Sub-Zero and Scorpion to new faces such as Cole Young, the latest adaptation of the popular video game franchise is going to have a lot of different faces that you'll need to keep up with.
Of all the characters that will be appearing in Mortal Kombat, however, Raiden is perhaps one of the most important. Although we haven't seen much of what this iteration of the character will be like in the latest movie reboot, it stands to reason that he'll be vital to the narrative. As such, it might prove helpful to familiarize yourself with the character a bit more to understand his backstory from the video games, his previous appearances in the other Mortal Kombat movies, and what you can expect from him in this newest adaptation.
Raiden's Backstory and History
In the video game series, Raiden is one of the original characters that first appeared in the initial Mortal Kombat all the way back in 1992. Since that time, he has also shown back up in every subsequent Mortal Kombat installment, making him one of the only characters to achieve this feat.
Within the video game lore, Raiden hails from Earthrealm and is the God of Thunder, which means that he essentially is immortal. The abilities he boasts include teleportation, flight, and the ability to wield lightning. He also has wielded weapons such as a staff and hammer at various times throughout the fighting series. Later on in the series, Raiden at one point became even more powerful and gained the title of Elder God.
As for his role in the story of Mortal Kombat, Raiden is basically a guide and mentor to the other champions from Earthrealm. He guides characters such as Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Sonya Blade, and Jax, to name a few. Since he is the protector of Earthrealm, he also is eternally locked in battle with those from Outworld, most notably with Shang Tsung and Shao Khan.prevnext
Original Mortal Kombat Movie Appearance
In the original Mortal Kombat movie from 1995, Raiden was notably played by Christopher Lambert. Much like the video games, Raiden in this adaptation assembled and mentored the champions of Earthrealm that included Sonya Blade, Liu Kang, and Johnny Cage. After training the three combatants, they all travel to Outworld to take part in the Mortal Kombat tournament.
In the 1997 sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Lambert didn't return and Raiden was instead played by James Remar. The film deviates quite greatly from the video game series and reveals that Shao Khan and Raiden are actually brothers, which is something that isn't considering canonical. As a whole, the movie once again places Raiden in a leadership role as the Earthrealm warriors, which this time around includes new faces such as Jax.prevnext
Mortal Kombat Reboot Appearance
In the latest Mortal Kombat movie, Raiden will be portrayed by Tadanobu Asano. Previously, Asano is likely most well-known for his role as Hogun in the Thor film series. He has also appeared in other projects such as 47 Ronin, Battleship, and Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan.
As for the role that Raiden will be playing in Mortal Kombat this time around, there's still a lot that we don't know. Based on the trailers and other accompanying footage that has released so far, Raiden will again be seemingly assisting the Earthrealm champions, much as he typically does.
That being said, it doesn't look like Raiden will be a passive player in Mortal Kombat whatsoever. While some adaptations have mainly left Raiden on the sidelines which he watches the other Earthrealm warriors fight, it looks as though the God of Thunder will have his own big fight scenes to take part in as well. Perhaps the most notable tease that we have seen at this point in time involves a clash between Raiden and Shang Tsung.
While we'll have to wait a bit longer to see what this iteration of Raiden has in store, the movie will be released before we know it. Mortal Kombat is set to arrive both in theaters and on HBO Max on Friday, April 23rd.prev