We’ve known that Van Damme would make an appearance in the latest entry in the fighting game series as a Johnny Cage skin for some time. However, this is the first time we’ve really gotten to see it when paired with some action movie-enhanced combat. Today’s trailer also marks the first time NetherRealm has revealed what the action star will sound like when facing off against other contenders, and if you listen closely, you’ll hear him make a very quick reference to Street Fighter. You can watch the Mortal Kombat 1 trailer below for a closer look at the Jean-Claude Van Damme skin.
Van Damme’s appearance in Mortal Kombat is a long time coming. Fans of the series are no doubt familiar with developer NetherRealm’s desire to have the movie hero play a part in the franchise since its inception. Franchise co-creator Ed Boon actually spoke about the Jean-Claude Van Damme skin during a recent episode of Hot Ones. The interview included a very brief look at the alternate Johnny Cage cosmetic option while also dishing out information on how the developers choose guest characters in games like Mortal Kombat 1.
“When we made the very first game, our original intention was to make ‘Van Damme the Arcade Game.’ We wanted to see the words ‘Van Damme’ big there,” Boon said during the interview. “Bloodsport was big, and Universal Soldier I think was, so we called his people, and we were like, ‘We want to make a game based on Van Damme.’ I don’t know if he declined or it just never got to him or something like that, but again, this is a couple of 20-something-year-old kids, wanting to make a video game. I could see how Van Damme would go, ‘No, we’re not doing this.”
Boon’s dreams will finally come true, as will the dreams of fans when Mortal Kombat 1 launches on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X | S on September 19, 2023. Be sure to stay tuned for all of your Van Damme updates.