Lots of hopes may have been dashed for fans of Mortal Kombat who’ve waited for Kevin Tancharoen to steer forward on his own adaptation, but it’s not like New Line isn’t making up for lost time either.
News of the past month has awoken the fanbase with a heavy-handed roster of casting news for the new film now slated to begin shooting in less than a few weeks in Australia. The casting totaled to eight by Monday’s reporting this week until Tuesday’s news broken by Variety for the addition of actor Chin Han for the role of evil, manipulative sorceror, Shang Tsung, along with Hiroyuki Sanada for that of undead ninja warrior, Scorpion.
The soul-stealing, shape-shifting cohort to Nether Realm’s armies along with the Emperor, Shao Khan, Tsung has popped in and out of the game franchise as a consistent antagonist against Earth Realm’s heroes.
Game lore saw Tsung and necromancer Quan Chi murder Hisashi’s family and blame Sub-Zero. Himself murdered, Scorpion’s soul is revived and enslaved by Tsung and Chi, driven with an undying need for vengeance and imbued with supernatural abilities to take on Sub-Zero and anyone who stands in his way. The timelime of the latest installment has since revealed the two as allies in their fight against the Nether Realm forces.
Tsung firstly appeared as an unplayable boss in the 1992 game which launched from Midway. Ho Sung-Pak, Philip Ahn and John Turk captured the role for the games prior to his inconic portrayal by actor Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa in the 1995 movie. Actor Bruce Locke proceeded the character in Mortal Kombat: Conquest while James Lew quietly cameoed in the Tancharoen’s leaked proof in 2010.
Daniel Pesina took on mo-cap duties for the game role with celebrity martial artist Chris Cassamassa inaugurating the character for the big screen in 1995. J.J. Perry continued the character in John Leonetti’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation prior to switching in gold for the blue as Sub-Zero opposite returning Cassasmassa’s Scorpion in Mortal Kombat: Conquest for television.
Actor Ian Anthony Dale revived the character in Tanchaoren’s proof into the webseries, Mortal Kombat Legacy, for both seasons in 2011 and 2013. Johnson Phan succeeded as Tsung for the first season of the webseries before handing the reigns for season two back to Hiroyuki-Tagawa who is explicitly modeled and featured for the character in the new game, Mortal Kombat 11.
On top of breathing fire, teleporting along with wielding a deadly kunai and uppercutting his opponents into bloody oblivion, Scorpion is most infamously known for his resonanting command, “GET OVER HERE!”, as voiced by creator Ed Boon.
Some of Han’s recent credits include The Dark Knight, Netflix series Marco Polo and Skyscraper. Sanada’s history extends back to Japanese and Hong Kong cinema of the 70s and 80s prior to landing Hollywood roles in films like The Last Samurai, Rush Hour 3, 47 Ronin, The Wolverine and Zack Snyder’s upcoming Army Of The Dead.
With both, the Kombatant roster tallies to ten after Joe Taslim (Sub Zero), Ludi Lin (Liu Kang), Tadanobu Asano (Raiden), Mehcad Brooks (Jackson “Jax” Bridges), Sisi Stringer (Mileena) and Jessica McNamee (Sonya Blade), Josh Lawson (Kano), and Lewis Tan whose role remains a secret to be revealed when the Nether Realm portals at New Line finally open.
Greg Russo’s script will serve as the template for Simon McQuoid’s intently R-rated directing debut opening in theaters March 5, 2021. (VARIETY)