Mortal Kombat has been notoriously hard to adapt to film. In the ’90s, we got a B-Movie whose faults included the wild casting of Christopher Lambert as Raiden. A few years ago, we got far closer to what fans wanted with Machinima’s limited web series. And most recently, it was announced that James Wan would be producing a Mortal Kombat movie, leaving us to wonder if this could be the one that gets it right.
Here’s everything we know so far about the promising project:
What Is It About?
For now, little is known about the narrative of the film, which will be directed by Simon McQuoid, and which will shoot in Australia in late 2019. If it follows the massively popular fighting game franchise, then it will likely center on a brutal fighting tournament, which will very likely incorporate some mystical or supernatural elements. The martial arts-savvy cast means that it will likely be a serious action film, and the R rating means that we’ll undoubtedly get some of the game’s famous gore.
Who’s in It?
Joe Taslim is Sub-Zero
According to reports, action star Joe Taslim will be playing Sub Zero, one of the core characters from the Mortal Kombat franchise. It’s an extremely exciting bit of casting as Taslim is a talented martial artist known for brilliant and brutal films like The Raid: Redemption and The Night Comes for Us. Seeing as the Mortal Kombat movie is coming from Warner Bros’ famed horror studio New Line, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that the project will be leaning into the more violent aspects of the controversial game. This casting seems to confirm that, which fans of the franchise will see as a huge relief.
Hiroyuki Sanada is Scorpion
In another exciting bit of casting, Westworld, Lost, and Message from Space star Hiroyuki Sanada will be taking on the role of Mortal Kombat‘s other most recognizable character: Scorpion. The connection between Scorpion and Sub-Zero runs deep and will likely play a key part of the narrative in the new film. Sanada was most recently seen being horribly wasted in Avengers: Endgame and we’re hoping that Mortal Kombat will rectify that by giving him a meaty action role to luxuriate in.
Tadanobu Asano is Raiden
Raiden is the literal God of Thunder (no, not that one) so this inclusion confirms the film will likely be leaning into the more mystical elements of the Mortal Kombat series. Asano is a radical Japanese actor with an impressive list of credits, but he’s probably best known in America as one of Thor’s Warrior’s Three. So this is a perfectly wonderful bit of meta-casting!
Chin Han is Shang Tsung
Probably best known for his role in The Dark Knight, Chan Hin is taking on the iconic role of Shang Tsung, one of the biggest bads in the world of Mortal Kombat. The evil sorcerer who oversees the inter-dimensional battle, Shang Tsung is only out-eviled by his Shao Khan, who has yet to be cast. so for now, Chan Hin looks like he’ll be the antagonist of the new Mortal Kombat movie.
Mehcad Brookes is Jax
Jax is a cybernetically enhanced super-soldier and special forces officer who works alongside Sonya Blade. Mehcad Brookes is a charming and talented actor whose most recent role was playing mild-mannered Jimmy Olsen on Supergirl, so we’re very interested to see how this one shakes out. Mehcad definitely has the chops for the role and it’ll be fun to see him getting some more action in this R-rated movie.
Sisi Stringer is Mileena
Newcomer Sisi Stringer is Mileena one of the most iconic characters in the game. A clone of her “sister” Kitana made by the sorcerer Shang Tsung, Mileena is a conflicted and violent woman whose brutality is only matched by her skills as an assassin. We’re very excited to see whether this means that we might see Kitana, Jade, and Baraka in the film as more announcements hit the news cycle over the next few weeks.
Ludi Lin is Liu Kang
You probably know him best from the underrated 2017 Power Rangers flick, but Ludi Lin was most recently seen in Aquaman and the Black Mirror episode “Striking Vipers.” This is a massive moment for Lin as Liu Kang is the main character in pretty much every Mortal Kombat game and was previously brought to life by the iconic Robin Shau in the ’90s movies based on the game. Liu is the closest thing to a good guy in the world of Mortal Kombat and is the arch-enemy of the nefarious magical sorcerer Shang Tsung.
Jessica McNamee is Sonya Blade
NetherRealms Studios, Warner Bros.
The original female Mortal Kombat character, Sonya Blade is a badass special forces officer who has been a part of the game since its first release in 1992. The actress bringing her to life was last seen fighting a giant shark alongside Jason Statham in The Meg, so she can likely be trusted to take on the mysterious evils of Mortal Kombat.
Josh Lawson is Kano
NetherRealms Studios, Showtime
Josh Lawson is best known for comedic roles in House of Lies, The Campaign, and Anchorman 2, but he’ll be joining the Mortal Kombat cast as Kano, a vicious mercenary who often crosses proverbial and literal swords with Sonya Blade and Jax.
Keep your eyes peeled on this post as we’ll be updating as we get more news and until then, practice those fatalities because it looks like it’s going to be a cruel, cruel summer if Wan, McQuoid, and New Line have anything to say about it.
Images: Warner Bros.