New Line Wanted Danny Glover to Play Raiden in the Mortal Kombat Movie

The jury is still out on whether that would have been awesome or just awful.

Say what you will about the 1995 film adaptation of Mortal Kombat, but director Paul W.S. Anderson’s version of the famous fighting game was shockingly faithful to its source material. All the principle characters were in place, and there was an honest attempt at telling a story that fit within the Mortal Kombat universe. 

Sure, the writing and acting were atrocious, but given how the film’s sequel turned out, it’s easy to see how the original could have been much worse. Actually, the film was apparently going to be quite different if New Line had gotten their way.

During an episode of IGN Unfiltered, Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon recalled some of the discussions he had with New Line executives during his time as a creative consultant on the project. He remembers there being some “pretty interesting discussions” regarding the project, especially as it related to the casting of Raiden. 

They had some pretty wild suggestions for characters,” said Boon. “I remember them saying they wanted Danny Glover to be Raiden.”

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That’s certainly a creative bit of casting. There aren’t many who would look at Raiden and think of Danny Glover. Actually, it’s a bit curious that he jumped to the studio’s mind at all given that this was during the Angels in the Outfield and Operation Dumbo Drop era of Glover’s acting career. It wasn’t exactly the peak of his career. 

That was far from the only instance of questionable studio meddling Boon had to fight against. For instance, Boon says that the studio seemed particularly insistent that Kano wear an eyepatch in the film rather than his trademark metal plate. Despite telling the studio that “he’s (Kano) gotta have the big plate,” they didn’t yield until focus groups of fans reacted negatively against the eyepatch. Apparently, fan reaction “course corrected” the studio’s decision making a few times. 

Currently, New Line is working on Mortal Kombat reboot. There is no word on whether Danny Glover is still in the running for Raiden.