TV & Movies

Mortal Kombat trailer clues point to hidden video game character in plain sight

Mortal Kombat: Lewis Tan stars in action-packed trailer

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HBO Max are injecting some mystery into its flagship video game narrative this year with newcomer to the series, Cole (played by Lewis Tan). The film’s first trailer introduced him as a world-class MMA fighter looking to track down the world’s greatest fighters for the legendary tournament: Mortal Kombat.

During his journey he met Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee) and Jax (Mehcad Brooks) who were on the same mission.

But disaster struck when they came across a new superpowered evildoer: Sub-Zero / Bi-Han (Joe Taslim).

The trailer showed off Cole, Jax, Sonya and Scorpion / Hanzo Hasashi (Hiroyuki Sanada) fighting against Sub-Zero and his otherworldly ice powers.

Cole may be more involved in the battle than he realises, however, following fan theories suggesting he is actually Kuai Liang, the second Sub-Zero.

In the video game’s story the original Sub-Zero – Bi-Han – is killed off by his mortal enemy, Scorpion.

After his death the warrior’s younger brother, Kuai Liang, takes over as a new Sub-Zero for his ninja clan, the Lin Kuei.

The movie trailer shows snippets of Sub-Zero and Scorpion battling fiercely, so the fighter’s end could be in sight.

Cole finding out he is actually a part of the Lin Kuei would be an unexpected twist in the film and will send him on a journey to becoming the next Sub-Zero after his brother dies.

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Voicing this suggestion on Reddit, one fan wrote: “I have a theory that’s actually Cole saying ‘I am Sub-Zero’ after discovering he is actually Kuai Liang.”

Another agreed: “Oh s**t. Cole Young is Kuai Liang.”

A third mused: “I like this theory way more than the other one because a) it keeps Hanzo as Scorpion and b) it makes a lot of sense for Sub-Zero to have been the protagonist than some random newcomer…” (sic)

The upcoming film will not be the first time the Sub-Zero brothers have been featured on screen.

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The ninjas were the main stars in the 1995 and 1997 live-action films Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

Both of the cult movies are loved within the fandom, but were critically panned.

Despite this, 1995’s Mortal Kombat earned $122 at the box office on a $18 million budget, while Mortal Kombat: Annihilation earned $51.3 million on a $30 million budget.

The video game source material is one of the biggest-selling franchises of all time.

The first Mortal Kombat game was released in arcades in 1992 before moving to home consoles.

Spanning almost three decades, the series has become one of the biggest franchises in the world, with the Guinness World Records awarding it seven world records, including “most successful fighting game series”.

The latest game in the series, Mortal Kombat 11, was released in 2019 and sold more than eight million copies worldwide in 12 months.

Mortal Kombat will be released in cinemas and on HBO Max on April 16, 2021.

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