Fight! That seems to be the direction that the upcoming Mortal Kombat film is taking. EW has revealed a first look at the movie that is hoping to reboot the franchise in film with a brutally violent R-rated film this April. Directed by first-time director Simon McQuoid, the movie is set to deliver a lot of gory fighting but also some deep MK lore as the film explores some family drama, especially focusing on fan-favorite fighters Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim).
“It is like a family drama with excitingly brutal fighting,” said McQuoid. “That’s the image of this movie for me.”
The Mortal Kombat film is chock-full of characters we all know and love from the game, but it revolves around a new character named Cole Young (Lewis Tan), who is mysteriously connected to the tournament by a birthmark on his chest in the shape of the MK logo. When Shang Tsung (Chin Han) sends Sub-Zero to kill Young, he’s sucked into the Outerworld and begins meeting classic characters from the series. Major Jackson “Jax” Briggs (Mehcad Brooks), Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano), Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), Kung Lao (Max Huang), Kano (Josh Lawson), and Mileena (Sisi Stringer) are all set to show up, and once Cole joins them a lot of fighting will probably ensue. It’s heartening to see that the filmmakers went with a cast of martial arts and stunt experts over big names. It’s not like we’re all coming to a Mortal Kombat film to watch the deep, meaningful acting.
McQuoid emphasized why and how the film is getting an R rating:
It’s definitely not gonna get a PG-13 rating … Out of context this quote might seem incendiary, it’s not: The rules around ratings aren’t what a lot of people think they are. It’s amount of blood, it’s amount of red, it’s interpretation of how you go about it. We had a lot of discussions about getting the balance right so there was gore and there was blood and there were fatalities. … And there is gore, blood, and fatalities.
From the looks of these pictures, the movie looks kind of ridiculous, and the design feels a lot like that of the 1995 Mortal Kombat film. That isn’t to say that’s a bad thing; Mortal Kombat should feel a bit camp, and as long as the fight sequences are done well and the R-rating is used to full effect, this could turn into something really fun.
Mortal Kombat will release in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16.