The rest of the roster wouldn’t have stood a chance.
Date: September 20, 2023
By Hanna Rose
The anticipation for each new Mortal Kombat game release has grown to include eager speculation about the guest fighters who will join the roster. In the case of the upcoming Mortal Kombat 1, guest stars include John Cena’s Peacemaker, Invincible’s Omni-Man, and Homelander from The Boys. However, despite the superhero and supervillain theme, it has been revealed that the development team tried to secure John Wick as a guest character.
Ed Boon, the mastermind behind Mortal Kombat, reflected on the origins of the series and the inspiration drawn from classic martial arts and action movies such as Bloodsport, Enter the Dragon, and Terminator. He mentioned that characters like John Wick would have fit right into the world of Mortal Kombat. Boon acknowledged that they attempted to include John Wick but did not provide specific details about why it didn’t happen. It is likely that Lionsgate, the studio that owns the John Wick IP, may not have been willing to license the character. Additionally, Keanu Reeves, who portrays John Wick, may have had a say in the matter.
When asked about the possibility of seeing John Wick and Neo from The Matrix in Mortal Kombat, Keanu Reeves expressed his reluctance. He indicated that both characters have their own unique paths and may not be suitable for the Mortal Kombat universe. It is possible that Lionsgate sought his opinion on the matter, especially if NetherRealm Studios had already approached them during the early stages of development.
Another reason Lionsgate might have declined to include John Wick in Mortal Kombat is their ambition to create their own John Wick video game. The studio’s CEO had previously expressed their interest in developing a triple-A John Wick game. With spinoff content like “The Continental” series and plans for John Wick 5, Lionsgate is committed to expanding the John Wick franchise.
If John Wick had made it into Mortal Kombat 1, it’s likely that Ed Boon would have wanted Keanu Reeves to provide the character’s voice, as he aimed to have famous actors voice the game’s characters. While he achieved this to some extent with Megan Fox as Nitara and Jean-Claude Van Damme as an alternate voice for Johnny Cage, securing Keanu Reeves for John Wick would have been a significant coup.