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Here's first Mortal Kombat 1 footage of Jean-Claude Van Damme as Johnny Cage

UPDATE: Two-minute gameplay trailer released.

Jean-Claude van Damme as Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat 1.
Image credit: NetherRealm/Warner Bros

UPDATE 8/9/23: Following yesterday's brisk first look at Jean-Claude Van Damme in Mortal Kombat 1, developer NetherRealm has gone all-in with a proper two-minute trailer showcasing the iconic action star's appearance as an alternate Johnny Cage.

The five seconds of finger-flipping from yesterday's brief debut doesn't make a return, but this much-expanded look - which stretches to approximately two minutes - includes a bunch more cutscenes, as well as first gameplay footage of Van Damme/Cage in battle.

Mortal Kombat 1 – official Jean-Claude Van Damme trailer.Watch on YouTube

Jean-Claude Van Damme's Johnny Cage skin will initially only be available as part of Mortal Kombat 1's Premium Edition, arriving for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, and PC alongside the standard edition on Tuesday, 19th September.

ORIGINALY STORY 7/9/23: Mortal Kombat 1 is gearing up to be a bit of a celebrity fest - what with the likes of JK Simmons, John Cena, and Megan Fox all putting in an appearance - but perhaps its most perfect addition is 80s action star Jean-Claude Van Damme, cameoing as Johnny Cage, whose in-game likeness has now debuted online courtesy of series co-creator Ed Boon and a bunch of chicken wings.

Boon, in an interesting marketing nuzzle-up, has appeared in the latest episode of First We Feast's Hot Ones, in which famous folk attempt to gorge themselves on chicken wings dipped in an increasingly fiery selection of hot sauces without the tops of their heads flying off.

Boon's 14-minute appearance includes (alongside some sweating and surprised mouth sounds) some breezy chatter about Mortal Kombat 1 and the history of the series, interspersed with bits of gameplay footage. Some of that takes the form of a brief - and by brief I mean barely five-seconds-long - in-game look at Van Damme, who appears around the 5:52 mark. To summarise, he pumps the air, flips the bird, and looks reasonably like a young Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Another famous face, Megan Fox, was recently confirmed to be starring in Mortal Kombat 1 as Nitara.Watch on YouTube

It's neat, but perhaps the best bit in all of this is the sweet story Boon shares about how Van Damme's appearance brings the Mortal Kombat series full-circle. The gist of the anecdote is that the Mortal Kombat series was eventually birthed from then-fledgling developer NetherRealm's failed early attempts - some 30 years ago - at making Jean-Claude Van Damme: The Game.

"So we called his people...and I don't know if he declined or it just never got to him or something like that," Boon told host Sean Evans. "But this is a couple of 20-something-year-old kids who wanted make a video game – I could see how Van Damme would go, 'No, no, we're not doing this'."

"So we tried a number of times going back and forth with him," Boon continued. "This time, we hit the lottery, and we got him. And we actually have his voice and he's going to be the Johnny Cage character, and it is the absolute full-circle moment that we had."

Van Damme as Johnny Cage is included in Mortal Kombat 1's launch-day Kombat Pack DLC, available as part of its Premium Edition, arriving on 19th September for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.

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