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?
Warner Bros. has announced a March 5, 2021 release date.
It's already in pre-production, with filming slated to start later this year in Adelaide, Australia. Those severe landscapes will do the setting well, I'm thinking. South Australian Premier Steven Marshall says it's going to be the biggest film production in the state's history. Bigger doesn't always mean better, but it implies that the production has some decent money to work with. Prosthetic spines and fake blood aren't cheap.
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.
What characters are returning and who's playing them?
We won't know which characters are showing up and who's playing them until the whole cast has been announced, but in a Discussing Film interview, Russo said the "original seven" are important to the adaptation. That means we can expect:
- Johnny Cage
- Liu Kang
- Sonya Blade
- Shang Tsung
Only one cast member has been revealed, with Joe Taslim playing Sub-Zero. It's good news, trust. The guy kicks ass on-screen, as evidenced in the excellent martial arts movie The Raid: Redemption. See the man at work below.
Will Scorpion say 'get over here!'?
A vital question. As soon as we know, you'll know.