Danny Glover Almost Played Raiden in Mortal Kombat
A regular fixture of both film and TV since the early ’80s, Danny Glover is still probably best known for his work as gruff cop Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon series. Starring alongside Mel Gibson as the always unpredictable Martin Riggs, Glover’s Murtaugh was a cop who seemed perpetually on the verge of retirement, and became famous for his running catchphrase “I’m gettin’ too old for this s***,” a line that appeared in all four Lethal Weapon films.
Outside of the Lethal Weapon world, Glover also battled the galaxy’s deadliest hunter in 1990 sequel Predator 2, tried desperately to take a sad sack team to the championship in Angels in the Outfield, and played Jigsaw’s original nemesis Detective David Tapp in the first Saw film. Still, despite his long resume, one franchise that doesn’t really seem to fit Glover’s usual acting M.O. would be Mortal Kombat. Yet, it turns out that he came pretty close to playing a major role in the first MK film.
According to a new interview IGN conducted with Mortal Kombat franchise co-creator Ed Boon, Glover was at one time New Line Cinema’s favored choice to play the role of wise thunder god Raiden in the original MK film. According to Boon, this was but one of many “wild suggestions” New Line made to him over the course of the film’s development process.
The Mortal Kombat movie that the world ended up getting was a huge financial success, earning over $120 million on a budget of less than $20 million, and is fondly remembered by many who grew up in the 90s. Raiden was of course ultimately played by Highlander star Christopher Lambert, before eventually being replaced by future Dexter star James Remar in the 1997 sequel Mortal Kombat: Annhilation. A new Mortal Kombat movie is currently in the works, with The Conjuring director James Wan set to produce.
While Glover could have very well succeeded in portraying Raiden — he’s certainly put in plenty of good performances during his long career — his casting definitely would have been a very “out of the box” move by New Line. Glover has always seemed most at home in down-to-earth, realistic roles. Even when battling the Predator, Glover basically just played a normal cop thrust into an extraordinary situation. Still, one wonders what might have been had the studio gotten their wish.