Mortal Kombat 2 is officially happening with Mortal Kombat (2021) director Simon Mcquoyd, who is due to return, and the sequel has the opportunity to tell the story of Scorpio, which the first film failed to show. Despite the disappointing box office, “Mortal Kombat” became a streaming hit for HBO Max, which led to the sequel getting the green light soon after. However, the Mortal Kombat reboot was met with a lot of criticism due to elements such as the absence of Johnny Cage, the emphasis on a brand new character, and the absence of Scorpio, despite what was promised during the marketing campaign.
Being the first live-action Mortal Kombat movie for the big screen since 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, it made sense that Mortal Kombat (2021) became a kind of origin story. However, unlike the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie, there was no Mortal Kombat tournament in the 2021 reboot. Instead, in the new Mortal Kombat, Shang Tsung and the champions of the Outside World tried to prevent the tournament from taking place. In addition to Shang Tsung’s plan to kill the Earth Kingdom champions before the tournament, Mortal Kombat also dealt with the personal history between Scorpio and Sub-Zero, but with an emphasis on Shirai Ryu’s long-time descendant, Cole Young.
Although Mortal Kombat has always had a list of champions, it can be argued that Liu Kang and Johnny Cage have been the main characters of the franchise for a long time. This was reflected in the 1995 film Mortal Kombat, in which the story was told mainly from the point of view of Liu Kang, Johnny Cage and Sony Blade. Scorpio and Sub-Zero, on the other hand, were nothing more than glorified henchmen in this movie. However, more than 20 years later, popularity Scorpio and Sub-Zero have grown significantly, and they can be considered as the main characters of later Mortal Kombat games. For example, in Mortal Kombat 11, only a Scorpion is depicted on the cover. In this scenario, it was logical that the Mortal Kombat reboot would also focus on the rivalry and tragic story between Scorpio and Sub-Zero. This was confirmed during the Mortal Kombat marketing campaign, but the film did not meet all expectations regarding the two characters, especially Scorpio.
Mortal Kombat was advertised as a movie about Scorpio and Sub-Zero
The first trailer for Mortal Kombat (2021) opens, showing the day Hanzo Hasashi’s village was attacked by the Lin Kuei clan. This choice alone was already a huge sign that the film would follow the later Mortal Kombat games and would have the rivalry between Scorpio and Sub-Zero in the spotlight. The choice of actors Scorpio and Sub-Zero was also enough to create a lot of expectations for the two characters. Scorpio was to be played by veteran actor Hiroyuki Sanada, and Sub-Zero was to be played by Joe Taslim from The Raid, both of whom were also experts in the field of martial arts. Posters for the Mortal Kombat reboot also gave a lot of space to Scorpio and Sub-Zero, much more than to other characters such as Liu Kang and Sonya Blade.
The role of Scorpio in Mortal Kombat disappointed
Considering how much Scorpio and Sub-Zero were present in marketing, many assumed that Mortal Kombat would really be about two characters. While Sub-Zero had at least an extended villain role from start to finish, Scorpio’s role in Mortal Kombat 2021 was much more limited. The audience sees Hanzo Hasashi fighting Bi-Han at the beginning of “Mortal Kombat”, but Scorpio only returns at the end of the film to team up with Cole Young in the final battle against Sub-Zero. In Mortal Kombat, Hanzo’s return from the dead in the form of a Scorpion is completely omitted, without mentioning the Underworld or Shinnok. Instead, the Scorpion story was used more as a backdrop to contextualize the original Mortal Kombat character, Cole Young.
While the idea that a descendant of Scorpio finds out about his bloodline and is recruited by Raiden to participate in the Mortal Kombat tournament is interesting, the reboot is missing almost everything that has made Scorpio so popular in the last few years. The Scorpions’ hatred of Sub-Zero was in place, the costumes and the choice of actors were on top, and the final fight itself was solid — all this makes the rest of the film even more disappointing. It’s hard to say if there was more planned for Scorpio in Mortal Kombat, but there is a huge plot gap between Hanzo’s death and Scorpio’s appearance at the end of Mortal Kombat.
How Scorpio Can Return to Mortal Kombat 2
Death is not a determining factor in the Mortal Kombat universe. Scorpio has already risen from the dead once in the Mortal Kombat reboot, although the film did nothing to contextualize when and how it happened.