Even with Mortal Kombat 12 looming, the inclusion of Lewis Tan’s Cole Young in 2021’s Mortal Kombat film remains a divisive choice to this day. Considering the depth in roster that the franchise has, many felt there wasn’t a need to create a new character specifically for the film. However, Mortal Kombat 2 promises the return of Cole, so regardless of what the critics may think of Scorpion’s descendent, he isn’t going away any time soon. Yet, there are a few factors indicating he could become part of the main canon in the not-too-distant future, specifically Mortal Kombat 12.
Lewis Tan was concerned about Cole Young in Mortal Kombat
As a self-confessed fan of the video games, Tan admitted to Fortress of Solitude that he was unsure about taking the role at first. “To be honest, when the project first came to me, I had some concerns about taking the role,” he said. “Just because of the weight of what comes with it, and I wanted to make sure it was done properly.” After chatting to director Simon McQuoid, he felt comfortable enough to pursue the part and see what was cooking.
It’s fair to say the reception towards Cole Young wasn’t universally positive; however, the character did serve a purpose in the movie and expand the lore in a new and unique way. Cole wasn’t simply the audience’s eyes or gateway to the Mortal Kombat world, but he was also someone who tied the past and present together, especially in the blood feud between Sub-Zero and Scorpion.
The future of Cole Young in Mortal Kombat
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Lewis Tan discussed how plans for the sequel are coming along. “[Warner Bros. is] very happy with the movie, and obviously, it performed really well,” he said. “It’s one of the most-viewed films of their Warner Bros. slate, even though it came out at the worst time ever possible. But no, we’re full steam ahead. And now, we have Ed Boon with us as well, so we got the stamp of approval from the legend himself. Number two is just going to be absolutely insane. Way bigger.”
That sounds like promising news for all fans; however, there’s one key detail here that has gone over most people’s heads: the addition of Ed Boon to the film sequel.
Ed Boon remained relatively mum about the previous Mortal Kombat movie, as he hardly mentioned it nor was he involved in the promotion of it. While there were rumours he wasn’t too happy with the direction of the film, this was never confirmed by any parties. However, Boon did tell Polygon that he was involved in an unofficial capacity before, but now he is a part of the brains trust for several adaptations. “I’m involved with the animated series, and the next movie that’s coming out, so it’s very exciting, because there’s some really cool stuff that’s being worked on,” he said. “Just being involved in the scripts and which characters we’re going to include, and all that stuff, is very exciting for me. Before, I was involved, but not in an official capacity.”
Why Cole Young could appear in Mortal Kombat 12
With Boon’s involvement in the sequel, that means he’ll have a hand in shaping Cole Young’s character moving forward. Naturally, this opens a whole lot of new avenues for the character – perhaps even in the video game world.
Boon has explained how NetherRealm Studios is trying to push the boundaries of uniqueness with each Mortal Kombat release, telling Polygon: “At the end of every game we do a post-mortem: What was great? What could have been better? What should we not bring back? Sometimes we don’t bring something back for the big picture of being different.”
There’s a need to keep things fresh, and Mortal Kombat 12 will need to do this by expanding its roster. The addition of Cole Young could go a long way to solving two issues: One, it’ll be a character that fans will be familiar with but haven’t experienced in the video game world. And two, it helps to solidify Cole as an important character in the Mortal Kombat Universe. Who knows, years from now, fans could be looking at Cole Young and be blissfully unaware that his origin started in a movie and not the video game.