Mortal Kombat Producer Explains How The Reboot’s Inspired By The MCU

Mortal Kombat

It’s hardly breaking news when an upstart franchise tries to model itself after the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kevin Feige’s comic book behemoth is the biggest game in town and the highest-grossing series in the history of cinema, so it would be foolish not to try and draw at least some inspiration and influence from the interconnected superhero blockbusters.

Plenty of properties have tried, of course, and the majority have failed miserably after trying to do too much too soon. On paper, the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot doesn’t share much connective tissue with Feige’s roster of spandex-clad PG-13 good guys, but in a new interview, producer Todd Garner explained how the video game adaptation looked to the MCU when initially trying to crack the story.

“We brought James Wan on and brought Greg Russo on, and said, ‘Okay, if you were really gonna do this, and not just try to make it like The Crow, not just try to make it like Kevin Tancharoen did where he’s like, ‘Well, I only have this much money, so I’m gonna be in an apartment building with guys kicking the shit out of each other, what would you do?’. And so we started from the premise of, ‘What would Marvel do?’.”

Obviously, there’s much more to building a successful franchise that simply copying the most popular one of them all, and introducing Lewis Tan’s Cole Young as an audience surrogate is an important step. A brand new character both grounds the narrative, and allows fans unfamiliar with the expansive Mortal Kombat mythology to learn about the world at the same pace as the lead.

Garner went on to draw comparisons to the MCU once again, specifically with how Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark was the entry point for audiences all over the world to start learning about the wider universe, before the pieces eventually started getting put in place for The Avengers.

“You start it with one guy who is a point of access, Iron Man, and you kind of wandered into the Avengers. You didn’t just start with the Avengers. So who would be that guy for us? There were a few ideas that were just hard because they were super specific. You’re never gonna get everybody’s favorite character. But we tried to really get the right characters in, and tried to be intelligent about whether we were just throwing characters in just to have them in the movie so we can placate people, or do they really belong in the movie. So that then became the weeding out process.”

We’ve heard plenty of terrible movies in the past claim that they’ve cracked the Marvel formula, but there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about Mortal Kombat. The first trailer went down a storm and broke records online, and there’s clearly going to be a lot left on the table by the time the credits roll in the hopes that sequels will follow.