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Everything we know about the new Mortal Kombat movie

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

I didn't think we needed a new Mortal Kombat movie. I mean, the old movies have aged extremely well. The cheap practical effects and self-serious tone have since fermented into a stinky, savory cheese, rich in schlocky violence, terrible-but-somehow-appropriate writing, and a banging theme song that forever changed how sports teams get pumped up in the locker room before a game. But with the recent success and critical acclaim for Mortal Kombat X and 11, a new Mortal Kombat movie was inevitable.

The little we know about it has me thinking it might actually kick ass. Let me explain—here's everything we know about the Mortal Kombat reboot movie so far. 

What's the release date?

As with many other TV shows and games, the Mortal Kombat movie has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Warner Bros. originally announced a March 5, 2021 release date but will not be able to stick to that plan amidst theatre shutdowns and production delays.

Producer Todd Garner has said that the movie won't have a release date confirmed without theaters reopening. Reveal for a new trailer will be awaiting the same.

What characters are returning and who's playing them?

We now know which actors are playing quite a few of the new movie's characters though one big name still doesn't have a fictional counterpart. We know that Lewis Tan has been cast for the movie but not who he'll be portraying, perhaps Johnny Cage?

  • Shang Tsung - Chin Han
  • Nitara - Elissa Cadwell
  • Scorpion - Hiroyuki Sanada
  • Raiden - Tadanobu Asano
  • Mileena - Sisi Stringer
  • Sonya Blade - Jessica McNamee
  • Kung Lao - Max Huang
  • Jax Briggs - Mehcad Brooks
  • Liu Kang - Ludi Lin
  • Sub-Zero - Joe Taslim
  • Kano - Josh Lawson

Who's directing the Mortal Kombat movie?

Simon McQuoid is attached to direct. Mortal Kombat is his first major feature film, but you might have seen his work before. The guy's made plenty of commercials and some for a few major videogame franchises, like Halo and Call of Duty. 

He also made an H&R Block spot starring Jon Hamm, which places him adjacent to greatness (big Mad Men guy here) and as such I have a modicum of faith that he'll do just fine making the people punch and kick and rip one another's heads off. Check out a few choice cuts from McQuoid's portfolio below. 

Who's writing the Mortal Kombat movie?

Greg Russo wrote the script. He's also working on or has worked on the new Resident Evil, Saints Row, Space Invaders, and FEAR movie adaptations, which, phew, that's a lot of videogame movies. Russo's writing credits are primarily on unreleased projects, so we've yet to see what his penmanship looks like on the big screen, but with James Wan of Saw, Aquaman, The Conjuring, and Furious 7 fame producing, I'm sure he's steering it towards some self-aware B-movie fun. 

What's it going to be rated? (Please say R, please say R...)

It's going to be rated R! Writer Greg Russo confirmed that, for the first time ever, true fatalities will make their big-screen appearance. It's perhaps the most reassuring news about the film so far. Mortal Kombat 11 has perfected the art of the fatality, indulging in long, stomach-churning finishing moves for every character on the roster. It's only appropriate that the crown jewel of the game series features as heavily in the upcoming film.  

Will Scorpion say 'get over here!'?

A vital question. As soon as we know, you'll know.

James is PC Gamer’s bad boy, staying up late to cover Fortnite while cooking up radical ideas for the weekly livestream. He can still kickflip and swears a lot. You’ll find him somewhere in the west growing mushrooms and playing Dark Souls.