Warner Bros. pushes Mortal Kombat release back a week
As the studio gears up to finally debut its MonsterVerse crossover Godzilla vs. Kong tomorrow, Warner Bros. has announced a slight change in scheduling as the highly-anticipated video game adaptation Mortal Kombat is moving back a week from its original April 16 release to April 23. When asked his feelings on the release shift, all Scorpion had to say was “GET OVER HERE!”
While the new release date might disappoint some who want the film as soon as possible, it is worth noting the latest blockbuster in Legendary’s kaiju franchise saw a similar last minute move in its release, though it’s currently unclear why the latest adaptation of the Midway Games title is changing its release. One possible explanation could be that as more theaters are opening across the country, the studio wants to allot more time for copies of the film to reach theaters to screen for audiences prepared to go to the cinema while others elect to watch from the comfort of their couches with HBO Max, though another could be that the studio wants to put more breathing room between GVK and MK to bring in as much money as possible at the box office instead of competing with itself.
In Mortal Kombat, 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?
The diverse international cast reflects the global nature of the brand, with talent spanning the worlds of film, television and martial arts. The ensemble 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.
James Wan (The Conjuring universe, Aquaman) and Todd Garner (Into the Storm, Tag) are producing. Larry Kasanoff, E. Bennett Walsh, Michael Clear and Jeremy Stein are serving as executive producers. Bringing the hugely popular property to the big screen, director Simon McQuoid lead a team of Australian and U.S. filmmakers, including 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).
The first video game in the series was developed by Midway Games and released in 1992. The storyline sees a diverse range of fighters hailing from eighteen different realms become pitted against one another in an epic tournament. Quite a few sequels followed the original game with the most recent, Mortal Kombat 11, being released earlier this year.
Two Mortal Kombat movies were previously made. The first, simply titled Mortal Kombat, was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and was released in 1995. It was followed two years later with a sequel, Annihilation, which also paved the way for two television series: the animated Defenders of the Realm and the live-action Konquest. Two web series have been released based on the property as well from director Kevin Tancharoen.