Anyone familiar with Mortal Kombat will know that over-the-top violence is a hallmark of the fighting game franchise. Whereas age restrictions have little impact on the commercial performance of a video game, though, the film industry isn’t so fortunate.
Naturally, major studios will do whatever possible to keep accessibility as high as they can in order to sell tickets but ultimately, rules are rules. Where Warner Bros.’ upcoming adaptation of NetherRealm’s popular series is concerned, the US-based Motion Picture Association has issued an R-rating, one grade below the maximum: NC-17. While differences between the two, on paper, at least, appear minimal, the former essentially allows individuals of any age to sit in the audience, with anyone 17 or under required to be accompanied by an adult.
This is the ideal outcome for a movie known to depict gratuitous violence and gore, and one that Simon McQuoid intends to fully push the boundaries of. In a recent interview with SFX Magazine (H/T, GamesRadar), the director recalled the following:
“We wanted to push the [blood, gore and fatalities] right to the limit. That includes, but isn’t limited to, someone having their heart ripped out of their chest – just in case you were wondering.”
In what surely helped to secure funding for the film in the first place, McQuoid explained how he and producers James Wan and Todd Garner were honest and upfront with executives from the start, collectively stating that only an R-rating at minimum would be suitable to do the source material justice. Nowadays, NC-17 is usually reserved for on-screen depictions of sexually explicit content and which, fortunately for younger fans, this particular tale has little of. In the context of a clearly fictional tournament involving humans, undead ninjas and humanoid reptiles, the MPA clearly has no problem mandating the sought-after R-rating.
Now all that’s left to do is imagine just how gnarly the contest will be when Mortal Kombat lands in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16th. Let us know which match-up you’re most looking forward to in the usual place below!