Almost thirty years later, Mortal Kombat is still here.
It’s taken more than two decades since New Line Cinema paved the way for live-action film efforts in ’95 and ’97, but Warner Bros. Pictures has finally made good on its commitment to a new film inspired by the hit fighting game franchise after announcing development of a reboot back in 2011.That the game franchise itself has evolved long since its heyday at Midway in the early 90s has also proven beneficial, amply creating a flexible space for further development in its IP, and aptly welcoming an original character in its universe that hereto sees actor and martial artist Lewis Tan (Deadpool 2, Into The Badlands, Wu Assassins) finally headlining a major motion picture.
In “Mortal Kombat,” MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage—or why Outworld’s Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family’s safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana—the immense power from within his soul—in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all?
Alas, after months and weeks of endless waiting with only a handful of pictorals, teaser footage, a round of explosive new character posters and the audacious promise of “gore, blood, and fatalities” to make do with, the first official trailer is finally, FINALLY here for us to inject into our veins ahead of the film’s day-and-date release on April 16 in theaters and IMAX screens, and on HBO Max.
Helmed by first time film director Simon McQuoid, Tan stars from a script by Greg Russo, and joins a cast that includes Joe Taslim as Bi-Han a.k.a. “Sub-Zero”, Sisi Stringer as “Mileena”, Ludi Lin as “Liu Kang”, Hiroyuki Sanada as Hattori Hanzo a.k.a. “Scorpion”, Jessica McNamee as “Sonya Blade”, Mehcad Brooks as “Major Jax Briggs”, Chin Han as “Shang Tsung”, Tadanobu Asano as “Raiden”, Max Huang as “Kung Lao” and Josh Lawson as “Kano”, with actresses Laura Brent and Matilda Kimber also starring.
It’s also worth noting that much has been astir among certain news outlets over the prospects of a new animated film following last year’s outing from director Ethan Spaulding, in which case fans of the franchise can expect some more Kombat to prepare for at least in the year to come.