With just months to go until the long-awaited Mortal Kombat movie finally bursts onto screens big and small (in a shower of body parts, naturally), Warner Bros has shed the veil of secrecy and shared first images and story details to placate those eagerly awaiting its April release.
A Mortal Kombat movie reboot has, of course, been long in the works, with Warner Bros first announcing a director and writer for the project – Simon McQuoid and Greg Russo, respectively – back in 2016. Despite its lengthy gestation period, however, not to mention its looming release date, details have been surprisingly hard to come by until now.
That’s all changed though, thanks to a new interview in Entertainment Weekly – released alongside a sizeable collection of first images from the movie – which chats to director McQuoid about his work adapting the iconic video game franchise. The article contains a remarkably thorough plot breakdown, but I’ll stick to the basics to avoid too many spoilers.
Proceedings get underway with a “pretty nasty” opening action set-piece which charts the conflict between the clans of Hanzo and Bi-Han (who, of course, go on to become Scorpion and Sub-Zero, here played by Hiroyuki Sanada and Joe Taslim respectively) in Feudal Japan.
From there, the action shifts to the modern day, with the remaining movie following the adventures of washed-up MMA fighter Cole Young (played by Lewis Tan), an entirely new character to the Mortal Kombat universe, who gradually becomes embroiled with the series’ familiar cast after intervention by Outworld emperor, Shang Tsung (Chin Han).
If this all sounds familiar, incidentally, that’s probably because it’s very much in line with reports from ThatHashtagShow back in 2018, suggesting the movie’s plot would follow “a Philadelphia boxer that is recruited by a prophecy chaser to compete in a fantastical tournament”.
Other confirmed characters from the games include – and feel free to skip this paragraph if you wish to maintain the surprise – the likes of Jax (Mehcad Brooks), Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), Raiden (Tadanobu Asano), Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), Kung Lao (Max Huang), and Kano (Josh Lawson).
As previously confirmed, McQuoid’s take on Mortal Kombat won’t be shying away from gore, blood, or the series’ iconic Fatalities – and he tells Entertainment Weekly that the R-rated movie includes some “really badass” ones. “They’re brutal, man,’ he says, “They don’t hold back.”
Mortal Kombat’s North American launch on 16th April will see the movie release simultaneously on HBO Max and in cinemas. A UK release date is yet to be confirmed.