In 1992, “Mortal Kombat,” a fighting videogame that pushed the envelope on graphic gaming violence, was released to the general public, becoming the foundation of what would become an expansive videogame franchise. After the release of a 1993 sequel the green light was given for a film adaptation under New Line Cinema, premiering just months after the release of “Mortal Kombat 3.” The movie was hailed as the first game adaptation to make it big in the box office, though its earning has since been eclipsed. Over two decades later a remake is now in development, with an actor already cast as “ice ninja” Sub-Zero.
The Hollywood Reporter has it that the first notable casting for a reboot “Mortal Kombat” movie has been announced under Warner Bros. which had acquired the game franchise and its related media properties following the 2009 bankruptcy of original developer Midway Games. Filmmaker James Wan, famous for directing or producing the “Saw” horror film series and more recently for the 2018 DC superhero movie “Aquaman,” has been tapped to produce, while Indonesian actor and martial artist Joe Taslim, who starred in the 2011 local blockbuster “The Raid” and on 2013’s “Fast and Furious 6,” will be portraying Sub-Zero, a major character in the game/movie franchise.
Taslim is the first acting role to be secured for the film project, and his role is that of the Mortal Kombat tournament competitor from the Chinese ninja clan of Lin Kuei, members of which are endowed with the power of cryo-kinetics to attack foes with ice. There are actually two Sub-Zero characters in the videogame lore, though it has not been specified which of them will be portrayed by Taslim, a veteran member of the Indonesian national judo team and practitioner of pencak silat, wushu, taekwondo and Shotokan karate.
The first “Mortal Kombat” movie in 1995 was directed by Paul W. S. Anderson who later created the film series spinoff of Capcom’s “Resident Evil” videogames. The film starred Robin Shou, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson, Cary Tagawa and Christopher Lambert, all as characters either competing or invested in the Mortal Kombat tournament between Earth-realm and Out-world, the latter of which is close to winning in ten tournaments and earning the right to conquer Earth. The remakes’ director will be Simon McQuoid, with Sean Robins as executive producer. Filming is set to begin in southern Australia on 2020, ahead of an estimated premiere sometime in 2021.
Image courtesy of The Wrap