CS Video: Mortal Kombat cast talks character backstories
Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema provided ComingSoon.net with the chance to chat with the cast of the highly-anticipated Mortal Kombat movie! We took the opportunity to ask them about what aspect of their Mortal Kombat backstories they love the most… even if it didn’t appear in the film. Check out their answers in the player below!
Lewis Tan was coming into the franchise as a brand-spanking-new character named Cole Young, a kind of audience surrogate created especially for the film, and thus didn’t have an established backstory from the game world.
“There’s always a backstory, and if you don’t have that you really have nowhere to go,” Tan explained to us. “I don’t really have anything to research, which also is very freeing. I just take the energy of the ‘Mortal Kombat’ franchise and what I love about, what I know that fans like about it and what I personally liked when I was a kid and I just made sure that I kept that iconic energy and the authenticity of my martial arts.”
As for everyone else, the actors showed a love of the property by taking their characters seriously.
“For Kung Lao, the character that I play and Mortal Kombat, it would be the fact that he was trained in the Shaolin Temple and became a Shaolin monk” Max Huang told us. “And what’s interesting about that, and what relates to my personal life is that I went to the Shaolin Temple and stayed there at the school, like kung fu school nearby for a couple of months when I was a kid to train there and be with the monks and learn how they would behave, behave. I mean, literally train every day for like, eight hours. And so I pretty much can relate to that kind of lifestyle. And that that help. I love that aspect about it.”
“I’m going to say it’s Liu Kang’s relationship with Jade that hasn’t been fully told in the movie,” said Ludi Lin. “I guess I’m a big softie at heart. And maybe that fire that burns inside of Liu Kang is actually an anchor, that longing for an eternal love.”
“Someday I could be part of the prequel or something to tell the story about [Sub-Zero] and Kuai Liang, the brother the training in Lin Kuei when they got abducted,” Sub-Zero actor Joe Taslim explained “That’s the beautiful part of the background that I really love. Knowing that they actually came from good DNA.”
“I think the best part of our characters’ backstory is in the film, and that is this antagonism between them, right?” said Josh Lawson of the interplay between his Kano and Jessica McNamee’s Sonya Blade. “This sort of love/hate, push/pull element to their relationship, but I think it’s one of the most famous rivalries in the game and it would be crazy not to put it in the film… and it was fun to play!”
“There’s a lot also to Sonya and Jackson’s backstory, too,” added McNamee. “I know it’s spoken about in the film, but yeah, I’m interested to explore that more as well.”
“One thing I had to do was really dig into his backstory myself, and it was a lot of fun,” Mehcad Brooks says of Jax. “He started off as a special forces assassin and then he’s moved on to someone who hunts and assassinates multidimensional ninjas and monsters. Okay, overachiever?”
The diverse international cast of Mortal Kombat includes Joe Taslim as Sub Zero; Ludi Lin as Liu Kang; Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade; Josh Lawson as Kano; Tadanobu Asano as Raiden; Mehcad Brooks as Jackson “Jax” Bridges; Chin Han as Shang Tsung; Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion; Max Huang as Kung Lao; Sisi Stringer as Mileena and Lewis Tan as the leading character Cole Young.
Inspired by Midway Games’ best-selling video game that was based on the original idea by Ed Boon and John Tobias, the film centers around MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage—or why Outworld’s Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family’s safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana—the immense power from within his soul—in time to save not only his family but to stop Outworld once and for all?
Directed by Simon McQuoid from a screenplay written by Greg Russo and Dave Callaham, the film is produced by James Wan (The Conjuring universe) and Todd Garner (Into the Storm, Tag) with Larry Kasanoff, E. Bennett Walsh, Michael Clear and Jeremy Stein serving as executive producers. The creative team is also comprised of director of photography Germain McMicking (True Detective, Top of the Lake: China Girl), production designer Naaman Marshall (Underwater, Servant), editor Scott Gray (Top of the Lake, Daffodils), and costume designer Cappi Ireland (Lion, The Rover).
Mortal Kombat opens in theaters and on HBO Max this Friday, April 23!
Exclusive: Mortal Kombat Cast Explains Character Backstories