1995's original Mortal Kombat broke the video game movie curse. Now, 24 years later, stars Robin Shou (Liu Kang) and Linden Ashby (Johnny Cage) have reunited to play the iconic arcade game. Shou and Ashby have remained close over the years and revealed that they hung out two months ago at a party. When tackling the game after all of this time, both actors were comfortable and even recited lines from the movie when reenacting the battles Kang vs. Sub Zero and Johnny Cage vs. Scorpion.
Mortal Kombat took its toll on the actors, who were hurt often during the production. Robin Shou and Linden Ashby talked a lot about the infamous injuries while playing the game, which were sometimes pretty serious. Some of the fight scenes took two weeks to produce and that also took its toll on the cast. However, everything paid off when the movie hit theaters and was a box office success.
Robin Shou came back for the Mortal Kombat sequel, but the magic was gone. "There was so much that could have been done with this franchise that wasn't done," says Shou about what could have been after the first installment. In terms of what made the first movie so good, Linden Ashby believes that it had a lot more to do with than just the action on the big screen. He says, "It wasn't really about the action and the martial arts and the fighting. It was the dynamic of each character. You could tell we really cared for one another."
Robin Shou was working in Hong Kong at the time of the Mortal Kombat casting process. At first, he laughed it off because he thought the name was dumb. He also balked at the idea of a video game being made into a movie. It wasn't until a close friend urged him to take on the role that he started to realize the potential and he started the audition process, which involved coming back seven times. He says, "They were really hands-on as far as picking this Asian Liu Kang, because he's an Asian lead and they're investing millions. It was grueling."
Linden Ashby remembers that the original script for Mortal Kombat wasn't all that great. So, he and the other actors set out to improve it by injecting their own lines. Screenwriter Kevin Droney was not very happy about the changes, but the movie ended up being a hit, so it all worked out in the end. As for the future of the franchise, James Wan is currently producing the Mortal Kombat reboot, which will more than likely be a pretty dark affair. While we wait for more news on that project, you can watch Linden Ashby and Robin Shou play the arcade game below, thanks to the Hollywood Reporter YouTube channel.