Ed Boon reveals that John Wick nearly joined Mortal Kombat 1


After much anticipation, Mortal Kombat 1 has finally released, and fans of the deadly fighting series love it (sorry, Nintendo Switch pals). This NetherRealm Studios masterpiece’s large cast of characters is one of its main draws. But now a fascinating piece of information has emerged that may have further cemented the game’s legendary status: John Wick was practically on the roster.

You read correctly: the figure known as Baba Yaga, who has been associated with Keanu Reeves’ action-packed movies, was considered for the Mortal Kombat world. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon disclosed this startling information, saying:

When we were making Mortal Kombat (1992), the whole team was in the midst of Bloodsport, Enter the Dragon, and all the Terminator movies. I could certainly see the John Wicks of the world as a matter of fact, that is one of the ones that we tried to get John Wick in Mortal Kombat, and we didn’t get it.

Boon also disclosed that he thought Keanu Reeves would portray Kenshi, stating:

One of the things that I entertained with this game and this is the 10 out of 10 version which we didn’t do, was, “What if every character in this game was played by an actor?” Like we got Keanu Reeves to play Kenshi this is, like, pipe dream.

Any gamer’s spine tingles at the notion of John Wick, with his unmatched fighting skills and array of weapons, going up against characters like Scorpion or Sub-Zero. We’re positive that Reeves had some influence, but the exact reasons why this crossover never happened are still unknown.

The Canadian actor claimed back in 2021 that neither John Wick nor Neo from The Matrix would belong in the Mortal Kombat universe.

If it was up to me? No. Mortal Kombat is awesome in so many ways, but I think… you know, Neo, John Wick, they’re doing their own thing. Mortal Kombat is doing their own thing.

Perhaps surprisingly, Mortal Kombat has dabbled with pop culture figures before. The history of the game is replete with cameos from iconic action movie characters like the Terminator to horror movie icons like Freddy Krueger. Even the well-known Jean-Claude Van Damme makes his eagerly anticipated debut in Mortal Kombat 1, albeit as a skin for Johnny Cage.

The Mortal Kombat series has always been influenced by action movies from the 1970s and 1980s, but there are also clear traces of contemporary filmmaking. Boon’s recognition of figures such as John Wick demonstrates the franchise’s development and its pulse on modern popular culture.

Developers had previously sought to have Jean-Claude Van Damme portray Johnny Cage in the original Mortal Kombat game 30 years ago.

Regarding Mortal Kombat 1, players are enjoying the game’s updated lineup and gameplay features, even though they don’t agree with Megan Fox’s portrayal of Nitara. Even though John Wick won’t be appearing this time, future partnerships are still possible. After all, anything is conceivable in the worlds of video games and movies.

I dunno. Perhaps Donnie Yen or the up-and-coming martial artist Iko Uwais, two more renowned characters, will catch us off guard in the upcoming film.

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