Iconic video game franchise Mortal Kombat is getting another movie adaptation this year, and it sounds as though it's going to be a lot more faithful than previous attempts.
Ahead of the release in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16, first-time film director Simon McQuoid spoke with Entertainment Weekly and teased what fans can expect. Unlike the '90s Mortal Kombat movies, the new one will keep the notorious violence of the games.
"It's definitely not gonna get a PG-13 rating," said McQuoid. "Out of context this quote might seem incendiary, it's not: The rules around ratings aren't what a lot of people think they are. 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."
The original 1992 game and its swift successors sparked a moral panic with its depiction of violence, earning attention specifically for its patented fatalities, in which characters are finished off with intricate, theatrical displays of brutality at the end of a fight.
Lewis Tan, who plays the new character Cole Young, added that there's some "crazy fatalities," and that the crew behind the film picked out some of the most "iconic" ones from the series.
"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," Tan remarked. "They're brutal, man. [They] don't hold back."
1995 and '97's live-action Mortal Kombat films were critically panned, and not even the fans were happy with how they turned out. While it's hard to say whether McQuoid's effort will fare better critically, there's a good chance at least the fans will be happy.
"I wanted to make sure that everyone respected the material, the lore of Mortal Kombat, the fans and the love they have for this," he said, confirming his reboot will be far more faithful. "Everyone was clear on it."