The Mortal Kombat reboot is happening! It is almost here and, in a few weeks, it will be released in theaters and via HBO Max with a star-studded lineup of actors and actresses to bring the characters of the popular video game to life on both the big screen and the streaming platform.
In an exclusive interview with EpicStream, Jessica McNamee who plays Sonya Blade, and Josh Lawson who portrays Kano shared their thoughts and graced us with a bit of their time to answer a few questions, as well as give some insights into the highly-anticipated film. The two stars shared their preparations, roles, and talked about the future of Mortal Kombat.
When asked about their preparations, both stars said that they did a lot of physical training in a short amount of time to get in shape for the film's shoot. McNamee said,
“It was a lot of physical preparing, every day, six weeks in the lead up to getting on set. For me, it was training with a physical trainer to try and get some muscles, it was training with Sensei Nino [Pilla] who taught us a lot lots, and then, on set, with the stunts team who would teach us all the fights leading up, so that was a really big part of it.”
Aside from the physical preparations, both stars shared that they had to read a lot about the whole story and their characters as well to be able to portray the characters given to them. McNamee stated:
“It was also researching the Mortal Kombat universe, it was online, and reading all about the history and the characters and learning as much as I could.”
Meanwhile, Lawson shared how he wanted his character to turn out and how he wanted to make it his own version.
“The physical stuff is one thing and that’s its own challenge and then, of course, you gotta figure out who the hell this guy is from the game ‘cause he’s been around for 30 years and fans have come to know, love, slash hate him, but they really do feel familiar with him. So, it’s about trying to be true to that but also figuring out how to make it yours, they cast me for better or worse, I gotta do something with this.”
Lawson added as to how he prepared for bringing Kano into life:
“Just trying to take as much information as you can and the creating something new and hopefully giving people something familiar and surprising at the same time ‘cause you don’t wanna be so familiar ‘cause that’s what we were expecting. You want to be like, “that’s Kano,” and there’s something new there as well. That was the heart.”
The two proceeded to share what inspired them to be in the film and Lawson easily answered,
“Who would say no? It’s crazy. This is, like, the opportunity of the lifetime to be part of the Mortal Kombat. I was never in a million years expecting to get the phone call saying you got the job.”
"It was just such a dream come true. These opportunities are very rare in this business that, you know, you get an opportunity to be in the mix to play such an iconic character.”
The future of the Mortal Kombat franchise is bright given that there are a lot of characters and story arcs that the first film sets. Jessica said,
“I would love to see more of the backstory between the characters that are in this film, you know, there’s so much more to find out about these people.”
Lawson dropped some heavy words about what is in store for the film,
“I hope there’s more to come, I mean, we’re just getting started as far as I’m concerned. There’re so many characters we haven’t met yet, so many more storylines we can explore with the characters we made in this film, and so many more worlds to go to.”
Lawson even praised Mortal Kombat saying,
“Mortal Kombat, you know, they’ve been doing all the heavy lifting for the last 30 years and we’re just getting started in the film franchise so my hope is we’ve got a long, long way to go in this film. Fingers crossed.”
Mortal Kombat stars Lewis Tan as Cole Young, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Josh Lawson as Kano, Mechad Brooks as Jax, Tadanobu Asano as Lord Raiden, Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Chin Han as Shang Tsung, Hiroyuki Sanasa as Hanzo Hasashi/ Scorpion and Joe Taslim as Bi-Han/ Sub-Zero.
The cast also includes Sisi Stringer as Mileena, Max Huang as Kung Lao, Matilda Kimber as Emily Young, and Laura Brent as Allison Young. Mortal Kombat is the directorial debut of Simon McQuoid, along with producer James Wan, Todd Garner, and Bennett Walsh.
Mortal Kombat premieres on April 23, 2021 in theaters with a same-day release on HBO Max.