Mortal Kombat Fans Were Waiting For This Cole Moment That Never Happened

"Mortal Kombat" is among the most legendary video game franchises of all time with a history dating back to the early 1990s. For the vast majority of its run at the forefront of the gaming landscape, it has maintained a dedicated fanbase that cannot get enough of its characters, lore, and of course, graphic gore. At the same time, that popularity hasn't transferred over to cinematic adaptations of the property as seamlessly as some would hope. The franchise has a rough past at the movies that has taken quite a while to be rectified.

Way back in 1995, "Mortal Kombat" hit the big screen, presenting moviegoers with a campy, colorful, and mostly faithful adaptation of the first few games. It did well enough to land a sequel, 1997's "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation," but this abysmally-received continuation spelled the end of the IP's run at the movies until 2021. Director Simon McQuoid premiered his moderately successful swing at a "Mortal Kombat" reboot in April of that year, bringing with it a host of familiar faces from the video games in addition to an original character, Cole Young (Lewis Tan).

A mixed martial arts fighter whose best days are behind him, Cole is the driving force behind "Mortal Kombat" as he evades the forces of Shang Tsung (Chin Han) and makes fascinating discoveries about who he truly is. Fans anticipated this moment from him along the way, but it never came to pass.

Fans awaited a stronger connection between Cole and Scorpion

As Cole Young trains to awaken his arcana — a mysterious source of spectacular power that resides within him — we learn that he's related to 17th-century warrior Hanzo Hasashi, aka Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada). Redditor u/Flat_Fox_7318 and others felt this would be an interesting opportunity for Cole's relation to Scorpion to awaken in some form as a part of his arcana, linking the two and giving the heroes the edge they need during their fight against Shang Tsung and his underlings. However, this never came to pass, with Cole's arcana simply constructing a set of armor and giving him tonfas to use in battle against Goro (voiced by Angus Sampson).

According to the writer of 2021's "Mortal Kombat," Greg Russo, when the idea of Cole Young started floating around, he and those working on the film had a clear intention for him. They wanted him to stand on his own as an entirely original creation and afford fans the chance to see the "Mortal Kombat" world from a fresh point of view. "It became a question really for me as the writer to find a way to make it all work in the mythology. To make it feel organic, to not have it feel like something has just been dumped in there that doesn't belong," he told, detailing how important it was for Cole to fit in while still coming across as new.

Regardless of where you stand on Cole Young as a character, his relationship with Scorpion, or the product of his arcana, at least the minds behind "Mortal Kombat" tried to do something different with the property for its second film franchise attempt.