We have the first trailer for HBO Max’s new Mortal Kombat movie. This is a movie that has been in some form of development for many years, as the video game franchise has maintained its popularity for the better part of three decades now. But it has finally come to fruition, with modern horror master James Wan (The Conjuring, Saw) lending his talents as a producer. The R-rated, modern adaptation of the fighting game will see many beloved characters going at it in bloody fashion, and viewers will have the choice to watch the action either at home on HBO Max or in a movie theater.
Simon McQuoid is in the director’s chair for the new Mortal Kombat movie. Primarily known as a commercial director before landing the gig, McQuoid is making his feature directorial debut. Having James Wan behind the scenes to lend a hand certainly doesn’t hurt anything, as the filmmaker has helmed such huge hits as Aquaman and Furious 7, as well as spearheading The Conjuring universe. Up-and-comer Greg Russo penned the screenplay. Russo has hyped up the movie quite a bit, assuring fans that we will see lots of R-rated goodness, in addition to fatalities.
The Mortal Kombat cast is, in a word, stacked. It includes Lewis Tan in the leading role. Joe Taslim (Sub-Zero), Hiroyuki Sanada (Scorpion), Chin Han (Shang Tsung), Ludi Lin (Liu Kang), Jessica McNamee (Sonya Blade), Josh Lawson (Kano), Tadanobu Asano (Raiden), Mehcad Brooks (Jax) and Sisi Stringer (Mileena) round out the main ensemble.
This is one of many movies that WarnerMedia will be debuting both in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. The company made the huge announcement at the end of last year that its entire 2021 movie slate would be utilizing the same strategy that was implemented for Wonder Woman 1984, for better or for worse. On the one hand, many movie theaters around the world remain shut down, with the box office barely hanging on. Yet, the decision angered many A-listers in Hollywood.
In any event, it means this, and other big movies expected this year, won’t be delayed further. Though the studio is likely sacrificing millions in eventual box office dollars as a result. It is tough to know what a movie like this might make even under normal circumstances, as video game movies truly are a hit-or-miss situation. And the movie business has struggled for many years to crack the code on adapting video games for the big screen.
The Mortal Kombat franchise began life in 1992 as a fighting game and the series has been going strong ever since. The most recent entry, Mortal Kombat 11, was released in 2019 and went on to sell more than 8 million copies. Two previous live-action movies were produced. The first in 1995, which was a success, earning $122 million worldwide. The sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, released in 1997, was not nearly as successful. Mortal Kombat arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16 from Warner Bros. Be sure to check out the trailer for yourself.