As Dwayne Johnson and Dave Bautista have proven, the world has finally washed away the bad taste of those horrible Hulk Hogan movies from the 1990s. Pro wrestlers are now crossing the great divide from sports entertainment to Hollywood with ease, and the next one could be Cody Rhodes who is rumoured to be in the running to play Johnny Cage in the upcoming Mortal Kombat 2 movie, and might be the casting we didn’t know we needed.
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What’s happening with Mortal Kombat 2?
Cheekily taking to Twitter, Mortal Kombat 2 producer Todd Garner confirmed reports that filming is set to take place from June to September 2023 in Australia. At the time of writing, not much is known about the sequel. Yes, there have been whispers about potential villains and new characters joining the cast, but nothing has been set in stone.
Considering the disappointing absence of Johnny Cage from 2021’s Mortal Kombat, the expectation is that he will figure in this film. In an interview with ComicBook.com, Mortal Kombat 2 writer Jeremy Slater discussed the plans for Cage to feature here. “Johnny Cage is one of my favourite characters,” he said, “and I think there’s definitely a promise with the way the first movie ends of seeing Cole being like, ‘Okay, my next stop is to go recruit Johnny.’ So I think if he wasn’t included in the sequel at all, it would feel very strange.”
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Cody Rhodes as Johnny Cage
From Ryan Reynolds to Scott Adkins, many actors have been linked with the part of Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat 2. However, there might be a new and unexpected name to add to the mix: “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes. According to Fightful Select, the 37-year-old WWE superstar chatted to studio executives about the possibility of playing Cage in the upcoming action movie. It appears as if Rhodes is ready to follow in the footsteps of other pro wrestlers and dip his feet in Hollywood waters.
For those who may have turned off wrestling after the immortal Doink the Clown left the then-WWF, Rhodes is the son of wrestling icon Dusty Rhodes and the brother of Dustin Rhodes, whom many WWE fans may remember as Goldust. The American Nightmare returned to WWE in 2022 after six years away where he reinvented himself in the indies and served as an EVP for Tony Khan’s AEW promotion. More recently, he faced Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania 39, where many fans were left disappointed that he didn’t end the Tribal Chief’s incredible multi-year run as champion.
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It’s actually a pretty good casting
Here’s the thing: Cody Rhodes has reinvented himself after his first stint in WWE. He carries himself as a superstar and he looks like a million bucks, being in the best physical condition of his career. Throw a pair of sunglasses on him, dye his hair a shade darker, and boom! There’s Johnny Cage.
Rhodes also has acting experience, having appeared as the character Derek Sampson in a few episodes of Arrow. While that doesn’t necessarily mean he would be able to carry a major role in a tentpole movie like Mortal Kombat 2, it does mean he is far from a rookie with zero experience.
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The chances of it actually happening
Rhodes only returned to WWE TV in January 2023 after being on the shelf for a few months with a major pectoral injury that required surgery. While his programme with Reigns didn’t go the way many expected it to, there is a belief that Rhodes’ time as champion will come sooner rather than later. Regardless, he’s still in the main event scene and set to clash with Brock Lesnar soon.
Since Mortal Kombat 2‘s filming takes place from June to September, that means it will clash with WWE’s big summer PPV SummerSlam, which happens in August. Considering Rhodes has just come back from injury and there are multiple main event superstars on the shelf, it’s highly unlikely that the WWE would give him significant time off to go film the movie. Unless, of course, there’s a twist in the tale to Rhodes’ story in WWE. As it stands, it does seem unlikely that Rhodes would be cast as Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat 2. But hey, stranger things have happened.