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SYFY WIRE Mortal Kombat

Fiery first look at Mortal Kombat's big screen return, as director teases 'brutal' Easter eggs

By Josh Weiss

Finish them! A new Mortal Kombat movie has been in the works for several years now and while the COVID-19 pandemic threw a major wrench into the film's production, Warner Bros. saw it fit to finally give fans a first look at the violent video game flick (via Entertainment Weekly). Penned by Greg Russo (alleged scribe of Netflix's Death Note sequel) and Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984), the James Wan-produced adaptation was directed by newcomer Simon McQuoid.

"I wanted to make sure that everyone respected the material, the lore of Mortal Kombat, the fans and the love they have for this. Everyone was clear on it," the filmmaker explained to EW, adding that the film, which arrives this spring, most likely won't land a PG-13 rating. That's because the feature is going to depict some of the game's most iconic and gore-happy fatalities in the space of live-action for the first time ever. Expect to see some bodily bifurcation, spine extractions, or both.

"We've picked a couple of iconic ones," the director teased. "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."

Check out the production stills below:

In terms of plot, the 2021 iteration kicks off in feudal Japan with a 10-minute fight sequence that establishes a blood feud between the clans of Hanzo Hasashi (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Bi-Han (Joe Taslim). The narrative then jumps to present day where audiences will meet a never-before-seen character, Cole Young (Lewis Tan). He's "a washed-up MMA fighter," according to Tan and realizes that he has a greater destiny when Sub-Zero (also played by Taslim) shows up to hunt Cole down on the orders of the evil wizard/emperor known as Shang Tsung (Chin Han). It all culminates in "a high-stakes tournament to defeat the invading enemies from Outerworld," writes EW.

Mehcad Brooks ("Major Jackson 'Jax' Briggs"), Jessica McNamee ("Sonya Blade"), Tadanobu Asano ("Lord Raiden"), Ludi Lin ("Liu Kang"), "Max Huang ("Kung Lao"), and Josh Lawson ("Kano") make up the rest of the cast.

The long-running video game franchise received two big screen adaptations in 1995 and 1997, although neither of them was too well-received. Paul W.S. Anderson, (who would go on to direct features based on Resident Evil and Monster Hunter) directed the first one, which was a box office success, bringing in over $120 million against a budget of $18 million.

Originally scheduled to open this month, McQuoid's take on Mortal Kombat will now simultaneously open in theaters and on HBO Max Friday, April 16.