The Miz is campaigning hard to play Johnny Cage in the “more than likely, but not 100% confirmed” sequel to the 2021 Mortal Kombat film. Ed Boon has even given him a thumbs up of approval, meaning there’s a strong chance this actually happens.
And it should.
In a way, it’s almost perfect casting that comes along very rarely. Could someone else play the part? Of course. Practically every role out there has multiple actors who could do it justice, as we’ve had more than one great Batman, more than one great James Bond, etc.
But could this be a benefit to all sides and get the job done? The way I see it, they’d be foolish not to capitalize on this casting decision.
So while I’ve already given my thoughts on the movie itself with my Mortal Kombat FanTracks podcast (check it out if you’re interested), I’m going to dive a little deeper into why The Miz just might be the absolute best choice for Johnny Cage.
He’s Got the Look
What is the most iconic appearance of Johnny Cage? He’s a Caucasian 30+ fit guy who wears sunglasses and has tall, but short brown hair.
Is that not The Miz?
Fan casts often get lost in the physical appearance without realizing that someone can change their appearance to fit the role. You don’t have to cast someone who is already bald to play Lex Luthor, or a redhead to be Mary Jane Watson, considering you can shave your head or dye your hair.
But you do need to have some of the basic traits to start off with a good foundation to work with. As wonderful as Gary Oldman is as an actor, I don’t think I’d fan cast him as the next Storm in an X-Men film.
The Miz has the template already set up. As far as production goes, the less work needed, the better. It helps get the film along quicker, cuts down on the costs and makes it easier for people to envision him as the character when they have enough reference photos already that can sell you on “this guy has the look down.”
Cage’s character is a douchebag, which The Miz nails each and every week. For years, he’s been portraying the type of asshole vibe that would carry on into Cage perfectly.
What’s key to Cage is that you know he’s a jerk, you can see him exuding arrogance with every word he says and the way he walks and presents himself, and you do want to punch him in the face…but you also kind of like the guy. He’s a hero, after all.
The Miz is one of WWE’s biggest weasels, but he’s always remained a likeable performer. He’s great at doing his job as a heel, so you root against him, but fans have grown to appreciate Mike Mizanin himself.
That’s key. You need to be able to see the man behind the facade.
Obviously, given the subject matter, being able to do fight sequences is a must. It’s not a trait everyone is able to do, though. Sometimes, people just don’t have the coordination to pull it off, or require too much practice to get the hang of things.
The Miz has already been in numerous action films. Plus, of course, his experience in WWE for nearly 20 years has given him an advantage over your average actor who would be in a completely different environment and starting from scratch.
Is The Miz an actual top tier martial artist? Of course not. But guess what? As amazing as The Rock is, he’s not going to actually be able to fly, yet you’ll shut your brain off and not think twice when you’re watching Black Adam. That’s what acting is all about.
You don’t have to be Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee to do martial arts in a film. All you have to do is your job as an actor and the stunt team and choreographers will sort the rest out.
The Miz would be coming into this role with the ability to do some of his own stunts, which makes it considerably easier for the production.
Nathan Jones was in this film. Enough said.
These movies are never going to have Oscar-caliber performances. Despite having some talented individuals involved, nobody’s going into Mortal Kombat expecting Anthony Hopkins.
The Miz has just as much acting experience as some others, if not more. He’s not going to stick out like a sore thumb or a B-movie actor when the rest of them are on the same level or thereabouts.
Look at some fan films for things like this, too. You’ll see plenty of great martial artists who can’t act giving it their best to come off as Spider-Man just because they can do some flips, or a bodybuilder who looks great as Superman, but can’t deliver lines to save his life.
The Miz is consistently one of the most charismatic talkers in WWE. He’s one of the few you can trust to be in a film and hold his own, rather than seem like he’s out of his element.
The Promotional Machine
The Miz is one of the best when it comes to promoting his work. He’s constantly doing media for WWE, Miz and Mrs and anything else he’s involved in.
Mortal Kombat appeals to the same audience as WWE. You know that having The Miz in the film would result in WWE absolutely gushing over the film and promoting it nonstop, too. There could be tie-ins all over the place, with people playing the games on UpUpDownDown, getting Superstars to film vignettes and more.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods even have Scorpion and Sub-Zero gear. You mean to tell me you can’t get more eyes on the Mortal Kombat film by having WWE go nuts over it? I’d also love to hear the argument that WWE wouldn’t want to get the media coverage that goes along with having a WWE Superstar in a big film like this, too.
It’s win-win. There are no negatives to the promotional side of this.
For that matter, I see no negatives to casting The Miz as Johnny Cage whatsoever. Only positives.
Would you be up for The Miz playing Johnny Cage in MK2? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!