Mortal Kombat Director Says The Fatalities Are More Than Just Fan Service

Mortal Kombat

Fan service is an important ingredient for any live-action adaptation of a popular property that comes with a built-in fanbase, but a balance still needs to be struck. Lean too hard into appealing to the diehards and you run the risk of alienating casual audiences that don’t have a clue what’s going on or why they’re supposed to care, but if you go too far in the other direction, then the more loyal enthusiasts will inevitably complain about the wholesale changes being made to the source material.

The upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot looks as though it could successfully straddle the divide, based on the first trailer and nothing else. Simon McQuoid’s feature debut is definitely set in the world of the long-running and massively popular video game series, but the presence of Lewis Tan’s brand new character Cole Young as the protagonist will give viewers unfamiliar with the lore an easy route into the story.

Of course, because we’re talking about an R-rated marital arts fantasy packed wall-to-wall with violent fight sequences, the signature Fatalities were a must from the off. And in a new interview, McQuoid explained why the grisly finishing moves were always an important part of his Mortal Kombat, though he notes that they won’t be there just for the sake of it.

“The Fatalities were always in from the get-go, there was never any question from anyone at all. There was no resistance from the studio. They wanted them, I wanted them. There’s a fatality from Kano, he ripped someone’s heart out. But what was important to me was that even when the Fatalities arrived, we couldn’t just do a Fatality and have it mean nothing. It actually becomes an important ingredient in the rhythm of the action scene.”

The first footage went down an absolute storm with Mortal Kombat enthusiasts, but there’s still no guarantees that it’ll draw in the more discerning moviegoer who might be on the fence about the reboot. That being said, the benefit of an HBO Max release the same day it hits theaters at least guarantees that it’ll bring in a number of more curious subscribers who otherwise wouldn’t shell out full price for a ticket.