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Mortal Kombat Movie Coming to Theaters and HBO Max on April 16

After being on cinematic hiatus for two decades, Mortal Kombat will be returning to the big screen in 2021.

Mortal Kombat
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Aquaman director James Wan is attached as a producer and the movie has formed a diverse ensemble cast to portray the epic roster of fighters. The highly-anticipated martial arts fantasy action film is to be a reboot of the Mortal Kombat film series, which at the time, was considered a commercial failure. This failure was in-line with many video game film adaptations of the ‘90s. But after acquiring the rights to the popular fighting game series in 2009, Warner Bros. has had their eyes on a film adaptation for the past decade after a short film called Mortal Kombat: Rebirth achieved notoriety on the internet. 

The viral eight-minute short starred Black Dynamite’s Michael Jai White as Jax and Star Trek: Voyager’s Jeri Ryan as Sonya Blade. Both Jax and Sonya worked under the Deacon City Police Department investigating the murder of Johnny Cage. They hire an assassin to infiltrate an underground fighting tournament in order to murder the suspected criminals Reptile, Baraka, and Shang Tsung for the murder of Johnny Cage. The assassin agrees with the condition that they allow him to also kill Sub-Zero. After they shake hands on the deal, the assassin reveals that he goes by the name Scorpion.

It is uncertain whether or not the feature film will follow the realism of the short film or take cues from the mystical aspects of the game series. Whatever the case, fans are wishing for a proper depiction of the penultimate aspect of the Mortal Kombat legacy: spine-ripping blood and gore. Movie developers nowadays have the confidence to take a chance on mature content with the recent box-office successes of R-rated movies such as Deadpool, Joker, and It. Considering that the Mortal Kombat game series is cherished by a dedicated fanbase, there is almost no doubt that the film adaptation will be a success.

However, Mortal Kombat will be a film adaptation of a video game, and those are almost unanimously poor in quality. The film will either succumb to the curse of video game movies or set an example for future adaptations. We won’t have an idea until we see some footage, which won’t be released until next year. For now we have a movie poster, a release date, and plenty of time to spend button-mashing “fatalities” in Mortal Kombat 11.

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