Now that the live-action reboot of Mortal Kombat has been released to critical and commercial acclaim, fans are eager to know where the budding franchise is headed. One major complaint has been that the movie does not feature the titular tournament. In an interview with Collider, the film's co-writer, Greg Russo, explained that was a deliberate choice, and the next two parts of an intended Mortal Kombat trilogy will deal with the tournament and its fallout.
"Movie one, we were always kind of setting this up as - well I was setting it up, it's basically in my head - I always saw [movie one] as pre-tournament, then [movie two is] hopefully tournament, then [movie three is] post-tournament. So the idea was that this was going to be a pre-tournament movie that would hopefully sow the seeds for the tournament, the final."
Unlike the Mortal Kombat movies that released in the '90s, which jumped straight into the tournament between the realms with the fate of the world at stake, the reboot focused on the ancient rivalry between the supernatural ninja warriors Scorpion and Sub-Zero, and how their battle ended up involving fighters from other realms.
The movie introduces a great many fan-favorite characters, but there are literally dozens more left to focus on in the sequels. According to Russo, knowing he was setting up two sequels to include other fighters in bigger roles made it an easy decision to not include those fighters in small roles in the first film.
"Everybody was focused on movie one, right? You don't get a trilogy without it. But as a writer, you should never be painting yourself in a corner, that's my motto. You should always be thinking about 'Where can your story go even beyond the two hours - this is not a lot of time - that I have to tell this story? Where else can it go?' So I always saw it as leading up to something bigger."
"And so the idea then became, alright, we have a certain amount of characters we can fit, don't have the luxury of having individual movies of all these characters, I'm getting thrown right into Avengers mode, which is fun and a challenge. But I knew that there were other characters I just couldn't get in, and it actually didn't even make sense to bring in yet for the story. So then it became a matter of, 'Well, who's the big characters that we wanna save?' 'Cause you also don't wanna use everything."
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 arrives from Collider.