Fans are excited about the upcoming live-action movie reboot of the Mortal Kombat game franchise, particularly since the film is being developed by James Wan. Mehcad Brooks, who is set to play the character of Jax, recently spoke to Duncan Trussell on his podcast about bringing a grounded approach to the hyperrealistic franchise, particularly the character of Jax.
"When I approached Jax I was like okay, well, he's an assassin, he's a killer, and he kills monsters, so he has to be a monster. And I was stuck on this Ernest Hemingway quote, and I'm sure I'm gonna f-k it up, but it goes along the lines of 'Once you've hunted and killed trained men long enough, you have very little taste for anything else in the world,' and that's who Jax is. That's how I found this grounded realism in him. Who was he before he was hunting monsters?"
In the game series, Jax Briggs is one of Earth realm's warriors, a member of the special forces combat unit that also includes Sonya Blade. Though an ordinary human, Jax has had his arms cybernetically enhanced, allowing him to keep up with the warriors from the other realms who use magic and alien science to try to win the interdimensional tournament of power known as Mortal Kombat.
Naturally, such a character description does not provide a lot of space for gritty realism, but Mehcad Brooks seems determined to find the core of relatability within the character by focusing on who Jax was before he became a part of the tournament. The actor further went on to explain how the reboot has kept fans expectations in mind while also building a narrative that is relatable:
"Yes you're gonna get all the fatalities that you're used to, all the fight moves that you wanna see - of course, we had to put all that stuff in there. But you're also getting a real story about real people that you can connect with and identify with, and identify with their struggles, and that's the part that's gonna be really unexpected."
The history of Mortal Kombat is a strange and topsy-turvy one. It started out as a game built around the action persona of Jean-Claude Van Damme. When Van Damme left the project, it was repurposed as a brawler with an extraordinary amount of blood and violence.
The franchise stood apart from the competition by turning up the dial on its gory aspects with each new installment, introducing new and increasingly more bizarre brutalities, fatalities and a cast of fighters designed to look badass while dismembering their opponents using hooks, chains, swords, fireball, bombs and the like.
James Wan will have his hands full bringing a sense of realism to such an overblown narrative, but considering he was able to do just that with the convoluted and over-the-top mythology of DC's Aquaman to make a billion-dollar grossing movie, Mortal Kombat fans can afford to be optimistic. This news comes from IGN.