With a new movie arriving in theaters and on HBO Max this week, it’s hard not to look back at the films that came before, 1995’s Mortal Kombat and 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Not only did the characters from the games make up the supporting cast for the film, but the story centered around the iconic Liu Kang. In the new film, though, the central figure isn’t from the games. He’s an original character.
While the new Mortal Kombat is loaded with that fans of the franchise will be very familiar with–along with a few surprises–this is essentially the story of Cole Young (), who is a new creation for the film. What we know of Cole is that he’s a former mixed martial arts champion who’s fallen on hard times and winds up entwined in the mysterious Mortal Kombat tournament due to a dragon-shaped birthmark on his chest.
Practically everything else about the character is being kept under wraps. However, director Simon McQuoid told GameSpot that utilizing Cole as the primary protagonist in the story was an easy decision. “We needed to have a way to bring a new audience into this and also allow for those fresh eyes to be on and to learn things,” he explained.