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Jean-Claude Van Damme Finally Joins Mortal Kombat After Being the Inspiration Behind Franchise’s Most Iconic Character

Jean-Claude Van Damme Finally Joins Mortal Kombat After Being the Inspiration Behind Franchise’s Most Iconic Character

Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of the few action stars who can be called one of the ‘living legends’ of the action genre. The actor has played several martial arts, and action movies with a plethora of hardcore roles under his name. The actor is a martial artist through and through, who began training at the tender age of 10.

Jean Claude Van Damme
Jean Claude Van Damme

The Kickboxer actor attracted viewers with his gutsy and action-filled roles, and many fans referred to him as the Johnny Cage from the popular video game franchise Mortal Kombat. Recently, the franchise dropped a trailer for their new game titled Mortal Kombat 1, and it looks like Jean-Claude Van Damme will be making his way to the upcoming game.

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Jean-Claude Van Damme Makes His Way To Mortal Kombat 1

The official YouTube channel of Mortal Kombat uploaded a trailer for their new game, and it featured some iconic characters like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Liu Kang, and many more, which excited the ardent fans of the martial arts-inspired game. However, fans were jumping with excitement when the Mortal Kombat website shared that the action icon, Jean-Cluade Van Damme will make his way in an interesting manner.

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Jean-Claude Van Damme in Bloodsport

The Bloodsport actor will make an appearance in the game as Johnny Cage, as he will be an alternate skin for the character. The addition will be unique, and fans of the game would know that Johnny Cage is also a Hollywood star, who has also trained himself to be a professional martial artist. Hence, the game character has something in common with the real-life action star. 

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Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat

Sadly, NetherRealm Studios has not featured the first looks of the character’s alternate skin, fans would get to see more in the upcoming weeks. However, the only downside of the exclusive skin is that it will be available to players who have purchased the Kombat Pack add-on, which is included with the Mortal Kombat 1 Premium Edition (priced at $109.99) and Kollector’s Edition (priced at $249.99).

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The Co-Creators Of Mortal Kombat Tried To Include Jean-Claude Van Damme In The Previous Sequels

Last year in October, Ed Boon, the Co-creator of the game shared during an interview with Polygon that the  Lionheart actor was “supposed to be Johnny Cage.” They took images of the actor from Bloodsport and talked about how they can add him to the game as an alternate skin for Johnny Cage, but the idea was later trashed.

“We took images of Bloodsport and talked about digitized graphics and how it’s going to be [Van Damme] in the game. At some point, he passed. But we later inquired, maybe a couple of times, as recently as, like, [Mortal Kombat 9], if he wanted to be in a skin of the game. For some reason, it just never came through.”

Jean-Claude Van Damme as Frank Dux in Bloodsport
Jean-Claude Van Damme as Frank Dux in Bloodsport

Johnny Cage is one of the most entertaining characters in the franchise, and he is popular among the fans of the game for his cocky attitude, playboy personality, and delivering powerful punches to his opponents. John Tobias shared that Jean-Claude Van Damme was meant to play himself in the game, but later the actor’s character became Johnny Cage.

“The fiction behind Mortal Kombat was kind of already in development even prior to us chatting with Van Damme, and when he ended up not being involved, we just kind of marched ahead. So the idea of his involvement was he was either going to play himself in the game, in the fiction of the game, or he was going to play a character in the fiction of the game. His character is eventually what became Johnny Cage.”

Since images of the actor were taken from Bloodsport, there is a high probability that the exclusive skin of the actor would be similar to that, or maybe that designers would take an original approach. However, safe to say, fans would enjoy playing with their favorite actor in the game.

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Mortal Kombat 1 will release on 19th September 2023.

Source: Mortal Kombat Website

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Written by Tushar

Tushar Auddy, Junior Content Writer. He has been in the entertainment industry for 3 years and is always on the lookout for a captivating story. He is a student of Linguistics and currently pursuing his Master's degree in the same field. He has a passion for literature that runs deep and loves nothing more than getting lost in a novel for hours on end. When he isn't reading, you'll find him capturing the beauty of language.