The new Mortal Kombat film has had a lull of promotional material. Fans of the fighting game franchise will be glad to know that the drought has ended though. The official Mortal Kombat Movie Twitter account just released a slew of motion posters. These posters depict nearly all of the major characters in the film, including the first looks at Shang Tsung, Mileena, and demon spawn Scorpion!
Mortal Kombat Films
It has been 26 years since the first Mortal Kombat movie was released in 1995. The first film, produced by New Line Cinema and directed by Paul Anderson (who would also direct the Resident Evil films later), was a certified hit, earning $122 million on the box office on an $18 million budget. However, the sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was poorly received, both critically and commercially. This killed any movement for the planned third entry into the film franchise.
A syndicated series Mortal Kombat: Conquest in 1998 served as a sort of prequel to the film. While it was well received, it ended with only one season and the cliffhanger unresolved. Another series titled Mortal Kombat: Legacy was produced in 2011 and released as a web series through YouTube and Machinima. Despite the positive response to the 2 season web series, it did not lead to the proposed feature film that it was intended to lead to.
Mortal Kombat: Legacy director Kevin Tancharoen left the project due to delays in 2013. However, James Wan signed on to produce a new film in 2015. Wan then hired Simon McQuoid as the film’s director with a script from Greg Russo. After the script was finished in early 2019, production started later in the year.
Titled Mortal Kombat, this is a completely new film that derives from the popular fighting game mythology. It will not follow any of the previous continuities from either the 1995 film or the later series.
Mortal Kombat Motion Posters and Trailer Announcement
On February 17, 2021, the official Twitter Mortal Kombat film account released motion posters of the principal players.
— Mortal Kombat Movie (@MKMovie) February 17, 2021
Beginning with Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, a new motion poster with a different character was posted every hour. These included the first looks at Chin Han’s Shang Tsung and Sisi Stringer’s Mileena. The final revelation was Hiroyuki Sanada’s demon ninja version of Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion.
In addition to the motion posters, the tweets confirmed the first full trailer for the Mortal Kombat movie to be released Thursday, February 18.
Curiously, the motion posters released did not include a couple of familiar faces to the Mortal Kombat franchise. Absent from the roster are Johnny Cage and Kitana. Instead, the film includes a new character never before seen in the games or other media, Cole Young. Other characters like the game’s bosses Prince Goro and Shao Khan, the lord of Netherworld, are also missing.
It is interesting to note that Cole Young will be the central character. Previously, the games and other media had Liu Kang as the main protagonist. There are rumors that Cole Young is eventually going to evolve into the new film’s version of Johnny Cage. Furthermore, as Sisi Stringer is playing Mileena, it is likely she will also portray her twin sister, Kitana. No confirmation of either theory has been made by the studio or production.
Mortal Kombat will be a simultaneous release in theaters and HBO Max on April 16, 2021.