Fans were highly excited to view the first trailer for the Mortal Kombat reboot movie that was released a few days ago. While the satisfyingly bloody fight scenes and nods to the gaming series’ infamous fatalities drew high praise, there was also confusion over the central role of Cole Young, an MMA fighter from Earth, played by Lewis Tan, which is a character that has never appeared in the franchise before. In an interview with Nerdist, Tan explained that Cole provides an emotional grounding for the movie’s narrative.
“[Cole is] a cool character because he’s a grounded entry point into the story. He’s down on his luck, he’s a father, he’s a husband. But he’s a man who’s kind of missed his opportunity and his time. And I think that’s a really interesting character to play. So that’s where he’s coming from. He’s a martial artist and he’s very capable, but he just never got his shot. And that’s where he starts out. And so he became intertwined with the Mortal Kombat world.”
Some Mortal Kombat fans have objected to the idea of a new character leading the movie, a part which has traditionally been filled by Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, or any of the other fighters belonging to Earth that the series has created over the years. While Lewis Tan is aware Cole does not enjoy a ready-made fanbase like other fighters, he believes his character, who, unlike the others, is a newcomer into the world of Mortal Kombat, will provide a valuable perspective for new audiences who have never played the games or seen the previous films or cartoons.
“Mortal Kombat is interesting because it’s a fantasy. There’s a lot of fantasy elements to it, but my character is a really solid perspective throughout the picture so it’s nice to be involved in this fantasy world but get to play a really grounded point… I think it’s a really interesting way to show audiences that don’t know the game a new perspective. It’s also good to create a cinematic experience that’s going to honor the game and what people are used to but also give them something fresh and new when they go to the theaters and watch it. So that’s what I like about the character. But it’s a tricky character to play because there’s a lot of pressure because there’s not an established fan base.”
Directed by Simon McQuoid and produced by James Wan, Mortal Kombat stars Lewis Tan as Cole Young, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Josh Lawson as Kano, Tadanobu Asano as Lord Raiden, Mehcad Brooks as Jackson “Jax” Bridges, Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Chin Han as Shang Tsung, Joe Taslim as Bi-Han and Sub-Zero, Hiroyuki Sanada as Hanzo Hasashi and Scorpion, Max Huang as Kung Lao, Sisi Stringer as Mileena, Matilda Kimber as Emily Young and Laura Brent as Allison Young. The film arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16. This news originated at Nerdist.