For the previously unaware, Mortal Kombat is a film adaptation of the beloved video game franchise from Midway Games. Following Midway's bankruptcy, the rights were acquired by Warner Bros, leading to a string of film adaptations. The game is primarily a fantasy fighting game with many players, but Cole Young has caught fans' attention. Here's what we know about the new character.
Cole Young is an MMA fighter who gets involved in 'Mortal Kombat' through his family ties.
Cole Young (Lewis Tan) is a new character to the franchise, but director Simon McQuoid ties him into the mythology of the series with ease. Cole's powers (in the Mortal Kombat world, known as "arcana") include body armor and a pair of wicked blades, one for each arm.
Actor Lewis Tan discusses how Cole's arcana is tied strongly to his family, who are attacked by Sub-Zero in the film.
Lewis said to Polygon, "[Cole's arcana was] described to me by [director Simon McQuoid] as a protection over the heritage that runs through the bloodline of Cole Young." He adds, "In the beginning of the movie, if you look carefully at the basket that his great-great-great grandmother was placed in, you can see though the same webbing/cross-hatching that’s on [Cole’s] suit is the same thing that was on that basket. It’s the same design."
Cole's character is also connected to that of Scorpion.
"On top of that, he has a blade, similar to the kunai that [Scorpion] has, that can come out of his arm. And he can use that blade and he can swing it around ... His arcana is his family, his bloodline, and his identity," Lewis adds. "And the whole film, he’s searching for that. So when he finally finds it, not only is it the thing that saves his life and his family, but it’s also deeply connected to his heritage and who he is."
Unbeknownst to Cole, he is a descendant of Scorpion, destined to be the key to a prophecy that doesn't make Sub-Zero happy. He's also responsible for bringing the Mortal Kombat players together, and the dragon-shaped tattoo on his chest means that he's been chosen to defend Earth — no pressure!
Will Cole return in any 'Mortal Kombat' sequels?
Mild spoilers for the end of Mortal Kombat.
Before the movie's release, many thought Cole's role as the voice of the audience replaced the fan-favorite character, Johnny Cage. When the film ends, it appears Cole is going looking for more Mortal Kombat participants, including Johnny Cage! The significance of this role for Cole means he probably isn't going away anytime soon.
A sequel to the Mortal Kombat film hasn't yet been announced, but this 2021 "reboot" signifies a whole franchise is likely on the way. Fans have even been clamoring for Cole to appear in the upcoming Mortal Kombat 11 video game, so Cole might not be a "new" character for much longer. Fans of the film will have to wait and see!
You can now stream Mortal Kombat on HBO Max or watch it in theaters.