One of the biggest questions surrounding reboots of popular franchises deals with the issue of how much of the series lore the reboot should change to make it more appealing to new audiences, without alienating the established fanbase. According to filmmaker Simon McQuoid, who is helming the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot film, the team behind the movie was able to craft a story that respects the source material while still being accessible to newcomers.
“We really did consider the new fans a lot in this film, but we always felt that we could respect the fans and the material and not alienate anyone new. We don’t really change anything fundamentally to try and pay service to new fans. It was like, ‘Come on the ride with us. The fans have been here before, and you’ll enjoy it.’ We wanted to actually expand it out to new people rather than change it to make it easier for new people. So, that was quite a fundamental point of view going in. But it’s like, ‘No, no, let’s expand it out so more people can enjoy the truth of what’s here rather than change that truth.'”
Based on the immensely popular video game series, Mortal Kombat tells the story of an interdimensional combat tournament that showcases fighters from different realms, wielding science, magic, or any other force that would allow them to win a match. Over time, the mythology surrounding the games has grown increasingly complex, and it seems McQuoid wanted to honor that mythology while transporting it to the big screen.
Of course, the thing that made Mortal Kombat such a standout in the gaming genre is also the thing that is unlikely to make a literal jump to the film. The games were famous for finding cartoonishly violent and gory ways for various combatants to execute each other using over-the-top brutalities and fatalities. In a previous interview, McQuoid had acknowledged that while they tried to make the fights as bloody as possible, the constraints placed on cinema’s rating system means the movie will have to toe the line, and not go too far with the violence and gore.
“It was something that took up a fair amount of brainpower amongst us. because we didn’t want to underdo it and we didn’t want to overdo it. So, overdoing it means… When certain things in the game, if you tried to make a real version of that, the film would be unreleasable. That’s just the fact of it. But we knew we wanted to get up to the line and not cross it, and that was really… The discussions were about that.”
Directed by Simon McQuoid and produced by James Wan, Mortal Kombat stars Lewis Tan as Cole Young, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Josh Lawson as Kano, Tadanobu Asano as Lord Raiden, Mehcad Brooks as Jackson “Jax” Bridges, Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Chin Han as Shang Tsung, Joe Taslim as Bi-Han and Sub-Zero, Hiroyuki Sanada as Hanzo Hasashi and Scorpion, Max Huang as Kung Lao, Sisi Stringer as Mileena, Matilda Kimber as Emily Young and Laura Brent as Allison Young. The film arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on April 23. This news originated at ComicBook.com.