Mortal Kombat Director Explains What Will Decide The Franchise's Future [EXCLUSIVE]

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By Elazje Carillo | More Articles Managing Editor
April 07, 2021  04:23 PM



Mortal Kombat is an upcoming American martial arts fantasy action film that was adapted from the infamous video game with the same name. The movie has past film reiterations that may bring some nostalgia to certain viewers. The 2021 film will be directed by Simon McQuoid from a screenplay by Dave Callaham and Greg Russo. 

EpicStream had the privilege to speak to Mortal Kombat director Simon McQuoid, Sub-Zero actor Joe Taslim, Sonya Blade actress Jessica McNamee, Kano actor Josh Lawson, Liu Kang actor Ludi Lin, and Kung Lao actor Max Huang. The cast and the director gave insights on the film's future, as well as how they prepared for the highly-anticipated film reboot of the popular franchise.

Simon McQuoid interview with Epicstream Managing Editor Elazje Carillo

The 2021 reiteration of the film serves as a reboot of the Mortal Kombat film series. As the film and the game are very popular worldwide, many fans were excited upon learning that Warner Brothers will be releasing the reboot for the movie. With the pandemic not easing up, the film will be released both in the theaters and on HBO Max.

LEWIS TAN as Cole in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “Mortal Kombat,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

The film underwent a long journey before it came to where it is today. James Wan signed as the producer in August 2015. Simon McQuoid was hired to be the director of the film in November 2016. This film marks Simon McQuoid’s feature directorial debut. McQuoid has a background in games before making his way into the feature-length film project.

 

Simon McQuoid’s Background With Games Helped Him in Directing Mortal Kombat

LEWIS TAN as Cole in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “Mortal Kombat,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

In an exclusive interview with Epicstream, McQuoid was asked about how his background with games helped him in making the film. McQuoid responded:

“In doing a few video game commercials, I think the one thing I got out of that was to respect the fans was an incredibly important part of the process and I probably wouldn’t have understood that quite as much had I not done commercials for Halo, PlayStation, and so forth. So that was something great to know first hand.”

JOSH LAWSON as Kano and JESSICA MCNAMEEas Sonya Blade in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “Mortal Kombat,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

With Mortal Kombat, it is essential that the director understands the complexity of the characters, their quirks, and many more. Having a background with games has certainly helped McQuoid understand that it is important to connect the film not only to the fans of the old movies but with the fans of old and new fans alike.

 

Balancing Entertaining Fans and Not Leaving Out the Casual Viewers

JOSH LAWSON as Kanoin New Line Cinema’s action adventure “Mortal Kombat,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Mortal Kombat is certainly a tricky project. On one hand, there are many fans who know every detail about the characters while on the other hand, there were casual fans who only know surface-level information. There are also people who may have heard about the film and the game but are just new viewers who are interested to see the film.

LUDI LIN as Liu Kang and MAX HUANG as Kung Lao in New Line Cinema’s action adventure

As a director, it is important for McQuoid to have the balance with all the variety of fans that the Mortal Kombat franchise has. The director was asked how he was able to balance entertaining the fans of the movie franchise and the video games to which he replied that it was a top priority for them.

JOE TASLIM as Sub-Zero/Bi-Han and HIROYUKI SANADA as Scorpion/HanzoHasashiinNew Line Cinema’s action adventure “Mortal Kombat,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

McQuoid further explained that prioritizing the balance of the fans and casual viewers was something that they thought about every day. McQuoid stated:

“It was a constant conversation we have to make sure that when we would do something very deep Mortal Kombat knowledge, that we are not cutting a new audience out of it. It was really about prioritizing that as something to really consider and then just constantly working on it, pretty much on a daily basis.”

 

Simon McQuoid’s Take on a Possibility of a Mortal Kombat Sequel

MEHCAD BROOKS as Major Jackson “Jax” Briggsin New Line Cinema’s action adventure “Mortal Kombat,”a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Mortal Kombat has a lot of material and characters to dive into. In his statement to EpicStream, the director was asked about the possibility of a sequel and what to expect. His response was: 

“It’s hard to answer that question because throughout this whole process none of us ever talked about a sequel. It’s not something we talked about. If people start talking about it, I would tell them to stop talking about it because it’s not really for us to decide whether we’re gonna get a sequel. It’s really for the audience to tell us. If people like the film, then great, we’ll start working on that. Obviously, there’s a lot of source material to work with and there’s a lot of characters. I can’t give you a specific answer to that cause it’s not something we spent a lot of time thinking about. We said, let’s do our best to get this as good as we can and knowing there’s places we can go.”

JOE TASLIM as Sub-Zero/Bi-Hanin New Line Cinema’s action adventure “Mortal Kombat,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Many fans are looking forward to the reboot and its interpretation of the popular characters. The film stars Lewis Tan as Cole Young, Tadanobu Asano as Lord Raiden, Joe Taslim as Bi-Han/Sub-Zero, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Josh Lawson as Kano, Mechad Brooks as Jax, Sisi Stringer as Mileena, Max Huang as Kung Lao, Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Chin Han as Shang Tsung, Hiroyuki Sanasa as Hanzo Hasashi, Matilda Kimber as Emily Young, and Laura Brent as Allison Young. 

LUDI LIN as Liu Kang and MAX HUANG as Kung Lao in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “Mortal Kombat,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Mortal Kombat will premiere on April 23, 2021 in theaters with a same-day release on HBO Max.

Related: Mortal Kombat Star Joe Taslim on Fighting Hiroyuki Sanada's Scorpion [EXCLUSIVE]


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Elazje Carillo Elazje spent her childhood with DC cartoons and her teenage years with Marvel movies. She has loved the fantasy and sci-fi genres ever since she started reading books. Her love for reading and fiction has led her to take on Literature as a college degree. She pursued a career doing what she loves since she was a child. By the way, her love for movies makes her aspire to become a filmmaker.
@Elazje Carillo | [email protected]