Jean-Claude Van Damme is set to retire from action roles after What’s My Name?, but Mortal Kombat 2’s Johnny Cage would be his best retirement.
Jean-Claude Van Damme Is About To Retire With His Next Action Movie, But Here’s Why Mortal Kombat 2 Johnny Cage would be a more fitting end to his screen career. Jean-Claude Van Damme became a big star for a period in the 90s, thanks to the success of films like Double impact and timecop. His martial arts prowess combined with his charisma and talent for comedy worked in his favor, but after several flops and issues in his personal life, he was essentially relegated to STV releases beginning in the 2000s.
In his later career, Van Damme became an excellent dramatic actor, showing that with the right material he could give more thoughtful work. The meta-action drama JVCD cast the star as a version of himself and he won acclaim for his work. He made the occasional return to the big screen as his delightful villain. The Expendables 2, but in recent years much of his work has gone into VOD projects. In February 2022, he confirmed the next What is my name? would be his last action movie, which again presents him as a version of himself. The twist to this outing, however, is that he once again has to fight some of his most famous on-screen foes.
Perhaps more than any other actor, Van Damme has embraced meta as a way to reflect on his life and career. He did the same with the short-lived Amazon series Jean-Claude Van Johnsonand these projects often resulted in his most moving performances. What is my name? sounds like a fitting end to his decades-long career, and one that will be something of a love letter to the fans who have supported him throughout. However, his name has often been mentioned for the next Mortal Kombat 2 as vainglorious movie star Johnny Cage, who, given his connection to the character, might allow for a better on-screen retirement.
Jean-Claude Van Damme inspired Johnny Cage in the original mortal combat, right down to his looks, fighting skills, and even his initials. Van Damme was also considered for the role in 1995s mortal combat film, although it passed to make street fighter – what was Mortal Kombat video game rival at the time. Mortal Kombat 2 is set to introduce Cage in the next outing, and it sounds like perfect symmetry that Van Damme should return to the character. An older version of Cage would also be a new concept for the fighter, and if this was Van Damme’s final action movie performance, there would be real meta-poignancy watching him say goodbye in a crowd-pleasing blockbuster.
More than an action star, Jean-Claude Van Damme is more than capable of delivering compelling dramatic turns, and he can flesh out Johnny in addition to performing the fights or delivering stunt doubles. Van Damme as Mortal Kombat 2 Cage is an irresistible cast in many ways, but as the star no doubt focuses on What is my name? it’s not something he’s likely to hunt either. Hopefully someone at Warner Bros will see the wisdom of the idea and give Jean-Claude Van Damme the chance to sign on one last big-screen outing.
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