Having swiftly become the most-viewed red band trailer released for any film to date, it’s safe to say that Mortal Kombat fans collectively can’t wait to feast their eyes on director Simon McQuoid’s upcoming reboot. Retelling the events, once again, surrounding sorcerer Shang Tsung’s titular tournament and the rise of several Earthrealm heroes to fight back the advances of Outworld, audiences will be privy to everything one would expect from a faithful adaptation of the source material, including uncompromisingly violent Fatalities, iconic characters and a generous helping of first class martial arts action.
Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Jax, King Lao, Liu Kang…the list of instantly recognizable combatants confirmed to be making an appearance is, at this point, the length of one’s arm, though it’s new information concerning the latter that’s raising more than just a few eyebrows on this occasion.
As reported by Collider, a set visit attended by the press back in 2019 involved a presentation given by producer Todd Garner. In it, he recounts how the filmmakers were able to achieve the effect of making Ludi Lin, who plays White Lotus member Liu Kang, appear to move much faster than an ordinary human, almost to the extent that time and space move around him.
We run Ludi through first, who is playing Liu Kang. But since he doesn’t move like a normal person, we run him through, but then you do a pass without him, with just the characters chasing him, so that we can move him through time quickly. It’s a plate, essentially. It’s essentially a plate with an actor that’s moving in it, that we can now move Liu Kang in as fast or wherever we want him in time and space.
What exactly Garner is referring to when he specifies Kang’s movement as being unlike that of a normal person isn’t clear, though the use of choice words have swiftly prompted many to latch onto the idea that this iteration of the warrior could have some form of control over reality.
An alternative explanation, on the other hand, might be that this is simply Garner’s way of describing the special effects wizardry that goes into making certain scenes look as realistic as possible. This is, after all, the same universe in which undead ninjas, thunder gods and entirely different dimensions exist, and given how series creator NetherRealm opted to end the story of Mortal Kombat 11, such a theory doesn’t sound far-fetched at all.
Whatever the case may be, we’ll find out for sure when Mortal Kombat lands in theaters and on HBO Max starting April 16th. Stay tuned for more details.