The Mortal Kombat video game series may have managed to remain relevant since 1992, selling over 35 million units and generating billions in revenue in the process, but the franchise has always proven difficult to get right on the big screen. 1995’s Mortal Kombat is arguably best-known for being a cheesy cult favorite, while sequel Annihilation just isn’t a very good movie at all.
The franchise has since gone on to spend over 20 years stuck in development hell as the rights bounced around between studios, despite Mortal Kombat: Rebirth and Mortal Kombat: Legacy creator Kevin Tancharoen coming agonizingly close to directing the reboot a few years back, before delays eventually saw him quit the project in 2013.
In 2015, James Wan signed on to produce a new Mortal Kombat movie, with director Simon McQuoid hired a year later. The slow development process led many to believe that his would be another failed attempt at rebooting the franchise, but in recent months, the latest adaptation of the property has been picking up some serious steam.
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After the script was announced to be finished in February, it was swiftly revealed that the production would shoot in Australia later in the year to meet a release date in March 2021. In July, we learned that The Raid and The Night Comes For Us standout Joe Taslim would be playing Sub-Zero, while writer Gregg Russo has been very vocal about how the project is definitely going to earn its R-rating.
With the start of production getting closer, Mortal Kombat is now looking to fill the rest of the cast and has added four more names to the roster of fan-favorite characters that will be appearing in the movie. Unknown Australian actress Sisi Stringer will be playing Mileena, Supergirl’s Jimmy Olsen, Mehcad Brooks, will suit up as Jackson ‘Jax’ Briggs, Power Rangers and Aquaman star Ludi Lin has signed on for the role of Liu Kang while Thor alumni Tadanobu Asano will bring the gravitas as Raiden.
While James Wan is a director with two billion-dollar hits under his belt, created the wildly successful Conjuring universe and has a solid track record as a producer, there are still a huge amount of question marks surrounding the Mortal Kombat reboot. The project marks the first feature film for both the director and screenwriter, after all, while the current lack of star power and so-called ‘curse of the video game movie’ could make it a tough sell to some audiences. Still, Wan’s involvement is certainly promising and for now, we’ll remain hopeful.