UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly has released the first look at Mortal Kombat featuring Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion, Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Max Huang as Kung Lao, Mehcad Brooks as Jax, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Josh Lawson as Kano, and Lewis Tan as a brand new character named Cole Young.
“When we first meet Cole, he’s in a really bad spot. He’s down on his luck. He’s kind of a washed-up MMA fighter who used to be a champion, who used to believe in himself, who used to have a lot of hope in his career. And it’s all gone down the drain. It’s a very interesting place for a hero to start, and I think that, along the journey of Mortal Kombat and Cole discovering where he comes from, you’re introduced to all these other iconic characters and elements that everybody loves so dearly,” said Tan to EW.
UPDATE: Mortal Kombat is officially set for release in theaters and HBO Max on April 16, 2021.
UPDATE: Looks like we got another fighter joining in on the fun. Best known for throwing it down with such martial arts superstars as Tony Jaa (The Protector) and Jet Li (Fearless), big man Nathan Jones (Mad Max: Fury Road) is confirmed to be part of the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot. Jones posted this on his official Facebook page a few days ago:
No words yet on which character Jones will be portraying.
UPDATE: Ludi Lin, who will be portraying Liu Kang, recently spoke to JayneStars and revealed that the film is building towards a Mortal Kombat-Universe:
“Director Simon McQuoid is very devoted to this world. He is very passionate about building a universe of Mortal Kombat, rather than one single fight film. He started a back story of the entire world and made sure to flesh out the characters, so that people feel it’s not just a video game and there is some substance behind it.”
Depending on the potential success of the reboot, we can expect future spin-offs that will focus on individual characters. Which MK character would you like to see get their own movie? Comment below!
UPDATE: Current Jackie Chan Stunt Team member Max Huang (The Foreigner, Kingsman: The Secret Service) has officially been cast as Kung Lao, a former Shaolin monk and a member of the White Lotus Society.
This rules out the speculation that Lewis Tan is playing the character. Tan’s role is still a mystery.
Production is now underway in South Australia.
SOURCE: Business Wire
UPDATE: The full roster is beginning to shape up nicely as news is coming out that Hiroyuki Sanada (Rush Hour 3, Avengers: Endgame) has been cast as Scorpion.
Joining Sanada will be Chin Han (Skyscraper) as the villain Shang Tsung, who was played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa in the original film.
UPDATE: More casting news has arrived with actress Jessica McNamee (The Meg) as Sonya Blade and Australian actor Josh Lawson (Bombshell) as Kano.
Wu Assassins star Lewis Tan has also joined the cast as an “undisclosed lead character.” Perhaps Kung Lao or Scorpion? Stay tuned!
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter
UPDATE: Best known for playing the Black Ranger in 2017’s Power Rangers, Chinese-Canadian actor Ludi Lin (Aquaman) is currently in talks to play Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat.
Originally played by Robin Shou (Tiger Cage 2) in 1995’s Mortal Kombat, Liu Kang is a shaolin monk who tries to save the world by fighting his way through the tournament.
Also joining the tournament is Tadanobu Asano (Thor: Ragnarok) as Raiden, Mehcad Brooks (TV’s Supergirl) as Jax, and newcomer Sisi Stringer as Mileena.
UPDATE: Mortal Kombat‘s screenwriter Greg Russo has confirmed via Twitter that the film will be Rated-R with ‘Fatalities’ in all its gory glory!
Since it’s already been stated by other members of the team, I’m gonna put this one to bed. MK WILL be R-Rated and for the first time EVER, FATALITIES will FINALLY be on the big screen (and no I’m not gonna say which ones) You’ll just have to wait for the movie & see!!! 😉 pic.twitter.com/aVTewH4t28
— Greg Russo (@WriterRusso) July 12, 2019
UPDATE: Best known for his role in the Indonesian smash hit The Raid and Cinemax’s Warrior, martial arts star Joe Taslim is set to portray fan-favorite Sub-Zero!
More casting is underway as production is targeted to begin in Southern Australia later this year.
Mortal Kombat will hit theaters on March 5, 2021.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter
UPDATE: Mortal Kombat is officially moving forward as South Australia has been chosen as the shooting location.
Confirmation came from the premier of South Australia Steven Marshall, South Australia’s minister for innovation and skills David Pisoni, and former Village Roadshow executive Greg Basser (Passengers), who is the production consultant on the project.
James Wan (Aquaman) is still on-board as producer for New Line Cinema with the screenplay written by Greg Russo. Australia’s own award-winning commercial filmmaker Simon McQuoid will make his directorial debut on the film.
Pre-production is set to start this month in South Australia. Stay tuned for casting.
UPDATE: Producer James Wan (Aquaman) updates the status of Mortal Kombat via Heroic Hollywood stating:
“That has been such a tricky one just trying to get the script to a point. People don’t know this, fans don’t understand this, but there’s just so much on the business side of things… to try and get the right budget for it, and we want to make sure we have enough resources and the budget to do the film right. If I can’t get the right resources and find the right filmmaker for it, I don’t want to do it, and I’m so busy already. I don’t need to clutter my plate with more stuff if I don’t believe it can be done right.”
UPDATE: According to THAT HASHTAG SHOW, the following is a breakdown for 17 characters set to appear in the upcoming reboot:
COLE TURNER – Lead Male. 30s. A brand new character to the MK franchise. Cole is a struggling and widowed boxer who cares more about his young daughter than anything. He is incredibly determined and refuses to quit in the face of fantastical adversity.
KANO – Supporting Lead Male. 30s. The large, rugged Australian ex-special forces turned merc-for-hire. He is arrogant and impetuous but a tremendous fighter.
SONYA BLADE – Supporting Lead Female. 30s. The beautiful, brainy blonde writer who chases the prophecy of Mortal Kombat. She recruits Cole and fights bravely and selflessly for a team she can only be a true part of once she earns a medallion in combat.
JIN/LORD RAIDEN – Male. 14. The immortal thunder God and protector of the Earth realm, who leads and trains the Earth team in the Underworld.
MILEENA – Female. 25-35. A drop dead gorgeous woman that is part of the Outworld side. She wears a sheer gown over thigh-high boots and a revealing one-piece, with a veil that covers her nose and mouth.
JACKSON “JAX” BRIDGES – Male. 30-40. “Jax” is a strapping mercenary/military officer who loses both of his hands in an attack and then joins Sonya and Cole to fight the Outworld.
LIU KANG – Male. 20-35. A fire throwing ninja warrior who is a talented Earth realm champion.
KUNG LAO – Male. 25-35. The mute warrior monk brother of Liu Kang, who yields an all-powerful boomerang hat.
SHANG TSUNG – Male. No age specified. The great sorcerer of Outworld, whose presence is a storm cloud of dark energy. His ever-changing roulette of faces unfurls an evil smile.
DRAHMIN – Male. 25-35. An Oni devil mask over his face, his body is composed of twisted sinewy skin, a heavy spiked club replaces one arm.
KABAL – Male. 25-35. An evil assassin of Outworld, he is outfitted in a black armored vest and trench coat. His entire head is covered by a scarred black respirator. His signature weapons are two razor-sharp hook swords.
NITARA – Female. 25-35. A black-haired vampire of Outworld. Two massive leathery batwings protrude from her bare shoulders. Fresh blood drips from her fangs.
REIKO – Male. 25-40. An armor-clad Outworld General with white glowing eyes. He drags a massive war hammer with him.
THE OVERSEER – Male. Late 80’s. The overseer of the clock tower and the training grounds that house the Earth realm warriors, he is laughably old.
EMILY – Female. 12. Cole’s scrappy, determined, and wise-beyond-her-years daughter.
SOPHIA – Female. 60s. Cole’s understanding, discerning mother-in-law who houses Emily and is her primary guardian.
JESS – Female. 30-35. Cole’s judgmental sister-in-law, who believes Cole to be a selfish, bad father. She lives with Sophia and Emily.
As you can see in the descriptions, even though ‘Liu Kang’ will be appearing in the reboot he will not be the main character. Instead the film centers on a new character named ‘Cole Turner’. In addition, there is also no mention of fan favorites ‘Scorpion’ and ‘Sub-Zero’. This does not necessarily mean they would not appear in the film, so take all this with a grain of salt.
UPDATE: Renowned commercial director SIMON MCQUOID have signed on to helm MORTAL KOMBAT. Best known for his ‘Playstation’ and ‘Halo’ commercials, lets hope his visual flair translates to a featured film.
From low budget horror films (The Conjuring, Insidious) to big action blockbusters (Furious 7), director JAMES WAN is out to prove that he one helluva diverse filmmaker. He will next try his hands on the martial arts genre as a producer for the upcoming MORTAL KOMBAT reboot!
The film will be written by OREN UZIEL (Mortal Kombat: Legacy) and DAVE CALLAHAM (The Expendables) which follows the story of a “seemingly harmless guy who realizes his potential when he finds himself caught in the middle of a cross-dimensional battle between the warriors of Earth and the monsters of Outworld. Now, in order to stop the world from total destruction, he must win the martial arts tournament known as MORTAL KOMBAT.”
‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy’ director KEVIN TANCHAROEN was previously attached to helm the project but have since dropped out.
New Line is describing the new film as “a departure from the mythology,” with “darker, brutally real martial arts.” This description pretty much sums up ‘Legacy’ and how they are planning to translate the success of the web-series onto the big screen.
No words yet on if the studio is planning to use any of the ‘Legacy’ cast members for the new feature film.