Programmed to Fight -- Cyrax as he appears in Mortal Kombat: Legacy!Comic-Con International 2011 runs July 20-24 and it's there that -- after a month a half's wait -- fans will finally get their chance to glimpse the long awaited ninth episode of Mortal Kombat: Legacy!

Featuring a surprise spotlight on Cyrax [pictured right] and Sektor; the episode will tell the tale of Lin Kuei warriors fated to become unfeeling, mechanized weapons. With a design borrowed from the latest Mortal Kombat video game, the episode speaks directly to fans, spotlighting the MK3 additions in a curious close to a series that featured mainstream icons like; Sonya (Jeri Ryan), Jax (Michael Jai White), Scorpion (Ian Anthony Dale), Raiden (Ryan Robbins), and more.

The unexpected delay in schedule already has many speculating about what lies ahead at Comic-Con, which has become one of the most reported launching pads for new and existing projects. With an uncensored BluRay release already on the cards, possibilities of a television expansion, or feature film, remain open.

In anticipation of the episode and the series' conclusion, Mortal Kombat Online took the opportunity to talk to Shane Warren Jones before he officially becomes a cyborg assassin. The actor stars in dual roles as both Cyrax and lesser known Malibu Comics creation, Hydro. MKO probed him for more on that surprising twist, as well as his experiences with the series and hopes for the future.

[MKO]: How did you first get involved with MK Legacy?
[Shane Warren Jones]: Well, I first heard about it when a couple friends of mine had worked on the MK: Rebirth pitch. I literally got an audition a week before shooting started and flew out the following weekend for a fitting and two days later we began shooting.

It seems to be a role that demands a lot of physicality. What kind of background do you have?
The physical background I have is in dance and martial arts. I've studied kung-hu for a few years and dance all through high school/college. I started training at a gym called White Lotus Martial Arts in Los Angeles about three years ago, and have been studying a sport called Tricking ever since. It's a good work out.

As an actor/martial artist, which skills have been most stretched by MK Legacy?
Definitely the martial arts aspect.

You play a cold-blooded cyborg programmed to kill in one of the most violent fighting franchises in games. What's something warm and reassuring people might like to know about you?
[Laughs] True, true, that is an accurate assessment of my character. Well, I'm a huge nerd and hopeless romantic at heart... So... yeah... The complete opposite of a cold blooded cyborg anything! If you get me in a room and talk comics I'll probably nerd out with you. I grew up with the stuff. But shhhhh, don't tell anyone. Ninjas can't love, or nerd out.

What was your impression of Mortal Kombat before joining Legacy?
Like I said; I knew some of the guys on the Rebirth pitch and I was very impressed with the quality and realism put into the project for an under the table pitch [laughs]. Then I got to read the script and my role on the plane and I couldn't help but get excited.

How familiar were you with Cyrax before getting the part?
I was familiar only through his introduction in MK3, but I did my research and was really excited to see that the character had such a cool arc to it.

Have you played the new game at all?
I didn't get to play the new game until after I had already shot, but I've played it at the launch party, loved it and will say that I did beat our director, Kevin Tancharoen, in one round at the party... Which, in my opinion, isn't bad for never having practiced before. That dude plays a mean Smoke! [laughs]

Hydro -- Illfated Lin Kuei Fighter Created by Malibu Comics!There have been a lot of reports that you're playing two characters -- Cyrax and Hydro. Is that accurate?
Yes, that is correct. All I can say is that Hydro is also part of the Lin Kuei. [smiles]

What were some of the demands of playing two characters? How did you separate them?
Well, I was lucky in that there wasn't a lot of info on Hydro, so it was pretty hard to mess him up. It all came down to what Kevin wanted out of me performance-wise. Some of the difficulties would be, what are essentially the different, distinct mannerisms of the individual characters themselves. I tried doing some research on [Hydro] and not very much came up other than, 'He only appears in a few issues of the comic.'

The games have seen a lot of plotlines over time. Is Cyrax a character you'd like to do more with?
Oh, absolutely! Like I said before, Cyrax has really grown over the course of the past six games. While I haven't played the ones in between MK3 and MK9 at length, I am aware of the turn the character takes and his journey in juxtaposition to Sektor's journey, and without revealing too much before the episode, I believe we've only touched the surface of it, and I would LOVE to really flesh that character out for the fans.

We've seen pictures and trailer clips of the suit. What was it like to wear? Does the work diminish the 'cool factor' of the look?
[laughs] The suit was snug, to say the least, and there was no cool factor being diminished. What's the point of being a ninja if you can't even enjoy wearing the cool gear... Am I right? [He's right, folks.]

Cyrax and Sektor -- Looking Quite Cool!

The last episode has been held off for a month and a half. Has the added wait been as tough for you as it has been for fans?
[laughs]Hharder even... trust me. It's been quite a ride.

What do you think the future holds for MK Legacy and its characters?
I hope, much like everyone else, that we get a series and/or movie going with the grittiness that Kevin wants and can deliver. MK is a really visceral franchise and needs someone who can really put that on the big screen.

What are you hoping people take away from the SDCC unveiling of the episode?
What I hope people take away is that first and foremost that we are badasses [laughs]. I'm kidding.

What I hope fans take away, those who enjoy the series and those who had other expectations -- (I've read some of the venom spewed on YouTube [laughs]) -- is that there is an incredible amount of work that goes into the entertainment that they enjoy. Not just from the actors, but from the crew -- directoir, stunt coordinators, stunt men, producers, studios, etc etc. This is all done to please them because we love what we do. I hope they enjoy it and it makes them dream a little bigger.

Shane Warren Jones and Director Kevin Tancharoen (who plays a mean Smoke).

Mortal Kombat: Legacy episodes are available free to stream via Machinima, and to own on iTunes, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network [full story]! Mortal Kombat Online would like to thank Shane Warren Jones for his time and wish him well at SDCC!

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