The Mortal Kombat reboot trailer has secretly revealed another classic character – Kabal – and his potentially grim fate at the hands of hero Liu Kang. The new live-action film stars Lewis Tan as Cole Young and has an ensemble cast playing various characters from the video games, including Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Jax, Sonya Blade, Raiden, Kano, and Shang Tsung. Mortal Kombat 3’s Kabal is joining that ensemble, and fans have gotten their first hidden peek at his new portrayal in the official trailer.
The new movie seems to be primarily taking Mortal Kombat characters from the first three arcade games. With the exception of Johnny Cage, every fighter from the first Mortal Kombat has been confirmed to appear, alongside a few additions from Mortal Kombat 2 like Kung Lao, Mileena, and Jax. It was previously announced Mortal Kombat 3’s Kabal would also appear and be played by Daniel Nelson, but the character wasn’t advertised in posters and promotional materials like the rest of the ensemble. However, Kabal does make a secret appearance in the official trailer.
During one shot of the Mortal Kombat trailer, Liu Kang is shown channeling immense power into one of his signature moves – his classic dragon fatality. Liu Kang conjures a dragon out of fire, which rises before a fallen foe. That opponent is difficult to make out, but a close look clearly shows him wielding Kabal’s trademark hook swords. If the character in question is indeed Kabal, he may meet a rather grizzly fate in the movie, as Liu Kang’s fatality traditionally sees the dragon bite his opponent in half.
Kabal’s teased death at Liu Kang’s hand implies he will be a villain in the new movie. His alliance has constantly shifted between the side of good and that of evil in the games, which leaves a lot of freedom for how he could be interpreted. Canonically, Kabal was once a member of the Black Dragon, a deadly group lead by Kano. With Kano seemingly a hero in the new Mortal Kombat, however, Kabal’s origin story may be a bit different
Alternatively, Kabal could simply appear as a brief challenge for Liu Kang to face in the tournament. Various characters from the games appeared in that capacity in the original 1995 film, and it looks like Reptile will face Kano in a similar way earlier in the film, according to the trailer. Whatever role Kabal ends up playing, it’s great to see another classic Mortal Kombat character making their way back to the big screen.