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Why Ryan Reynolds' Recent Tweet Has Mortal Kombat Fans Talking

Contains spoilers for 2021's "Mortal Kombat"

The new "Mortal Kombat" movie conspicuously left out one of the video game franchise's most famous characters: Johnny Cage, the sunglasses-wearing martial arts movie star who punches peoples' heads clean off. The closing moments of the film, however, set up a possible sequel in which Johnny Cage might play a major role – with hero Cole Young (Lewis Tan) setting off to Los Angeles to find Cage and recruit him for the Mortal Kombat tournament.

A "Mortal Kombat" sequel hasn't been officially announced, which means no one has been cast or even rumored to be considered for the role of Johnny Cage. But fans have already decided who they want to play the Jean-Claude Van Damme-inspired character in a second "Mortal Kombat" flick — someone whose onscreen persona is a "cocky wisea** you can't help but really like because he makes you laugh" just like Johny Cage. He's one of the world's biggest movie stars, with a superhero franchise of his own. We're talking about Ryan Reynolds. 

Yes, fans want the Deadpool star to play Johnny Cage. "Here's something I should mention if/when they make a Mortal Kombat sequel: I can't imagine anyone other than Ryan Reynolds as Johnny Cage," reads one typical tweet advocating for Reynolds-as-Cage.

Reynolds has seen the tweets, and just put out one of his that seems to deny he'll ever be Johnny Cage ... while simultaneously teasing that he could be Johnny Cage. Basically, Ryan Reynolds is an expert troll.

Don't give them hope, Ryan Reynolds

On April 28, Reynolds fired off a tweet hyping Mint Mobile, the low-cost cellular service provider of which he's a co-owner, and addressing the Johnny Cage conversation happening around him.

"What do I do with casting rumors and wireless competitors upset that @usnews just named @Mintmobile 2021's best cell phone plan?" Reynolds tweeted. There's a line break in the tweet, and then the answer to the question he posed: "Finish 'em!!" This is, of course, a reference to the "Fatality" setup famous in the "Mortal Kombat" franchise. Reynolds also attached to the tweet a GIF of himself as "Mint," a Johnny Cage-esque character who's just defeated "Big Wireless" in a Mortal Kombat-type competition.

Saying "Finish 'em!!" to "casting rumors" seems to be Reynolds' way of both shooting down hopes that he'd play Cage and also acknowledging that they're out there and that he thinks they're fun. Reynolds is good at managing his relationship with fans like that.

In the replies, fans were having mixed emotions about Reynolds' tease. "Now you just implanted the idea of you playing Johnny Cage," Twitter user @JorgeSaenzReyes wrote. "C'mon Ryan, reality is too hard already, I can't handle any more broken dreams." Twitterer @starvinforweeks wrote, "You have to be Johnny Cage. There are no take backs in meme culture." Another fan shared a GIF of Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye saying, "Don't give me hope."

Rumor has it that the producers of "Mortal Kombat" want to cast an A-lister as Johnny Cage. That's a good idea, but Ryan Reynolds may not be the guy for the gig. Only time will tell what ends up happening.