With just a few months to go until Mortal Kombat makes its long-awaited return to cinema screens, various members of the film’s crew have started steadily sharing details about the reboot.
This April, Earthrealm’s finest warriors will participate in the franchise’s titular tournament in order to halt an invasion from Outworld, but just how true to the games in terms of unbridled gore and violence can a live-action adaptation really be? Well, according to director Simon McQuoid and actor Lewis Tan – who plays the wholly new character Cole Young in the movie – it was decided at an early stage that there would be no holding back for this interpretation of NetherRealm Studios’ iconic fighting game. And naturally, staying faithful to the source material meant getting the US Motion Picture Association to grant a PG-13 rating was always going to be off the table from the get-go.
“It’s definitely not gonna get a PG-13 rating,” McQuoid admitted when the topic came up during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “Out of context this quote might seem incendiary,” he adds, before explaining how several misconceptions exist about how the system works. “It’s amount of blood, it’s amount of red, it’s interpretation of how you go about it. We had a lot of discussions about getting the balance right so there was gore and there was blood and there were fatalities. And there is gore, blood, and fatalities.”
On the topic of Fatalities – cinematic finishers players can perform which often depict limb removal and gallons of the red stuff – Tan describes them as brutal set pieces that don’t hold back. With that said, however, McQuoid notes that while he’s still editing the action flick, the end goal is an R-rating rather than NC-17 in order to keep accessibility as high as possible.
Meanwhile, Tan added:
“There are some crazy fatalities. We’ve picked a couple of iconic ones. There’s a lot of really cool signature moves that you’ll see, a lot of Easter eggs that we snuck into the film, but there are some really badass fatalities that I can’t wait to see on the big screen. They’re brutal, man. They, they don’t hold back.”
Mortal Kombat arrives April 16th in theaters and on HBO Max, the latter of which will only be available for a limited initial period of one month.