The Mortal Kombat video game series has come to be defined by its over-the-top approach to world-building, from its ridiculously impractical power moves to the in-game lore of an interdimensional death match to decide the fate of the world. For Simon McQuoid, who has directed the upcoming live-action adaptation of Mortal Kombat, it was important to take the far-out concepts baked into the franchise and ground them in something real and authentic.
"It doesn't feel like there's that veneer of sort of special effects over everything. That for me is the ultimate sort of fantasy of science fiction films is when you really believe. And the way you believe is to make these very authentic scenes and characters and things that have a great heart, and that you really care. So that's what's been the most joyous experience for me in bringing this to life is to actually sort of breathe life into these characters."
The Mortal Kombat trailer that was recently released has already shown how seriously the cast and crew of the movie took their job of keeping the story grounded and realistic. Gone are the high-wire jumps and kicks that featured so prominently in the 1995 Mortal Kombat film. Instead, the action in all its gory brutality looks like it could happen in the real world. Albeit a world where the slightest injury from a knife or a gun immediately turns the fighter into a human blood sprinkler
Another major way the story has been grounded on Earth is through the introduction of a brand new character named Cole Young, played by Lewis Tan. Young is a struggling MMA fighter who discovers he has been unknowingly inducted into an ancient tournament with supernatural beings. In a previous interview, Tan had explained how his character starts out with many real-world problems before getting sucked into the world of Mortal Kombat.
"[Cole is] a cool character because he's a grounded entry point into the story. He's down on his luck, he's a father, he's a husband. But he's a man who's kind of missed his opportunity and his time. And I think that's a really interesting character to play. So that's where he's coming from. He's a martial artist and he's very capable, but he just never got his shot. And that's where he starts out. And so he became intertwined with the Mortal Kombat world."
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 16. This news originated at ComicBook.com.