New Mortal Kombat Movie Won't Deviate Far From The Games

With three decades of story to use, the new Mortal Kombat movie is sticking fairly close to canon.


Over the past three decades of Mortal Kombat video games, the franchise has developed a deep and detailed backstory for practically every character. Now, with a new Mortal Kombat movie about to arrive in theaters and on HBO Max, film director Simon McQuoid has revealed how important that established lore is to the upcoming film.

"What I wanted to do--and Greg [Russo], the writer, said this even going in very early--is that we shouldn't be changing fundamentals," he said during a press event. "We can add a bit to help amplify lore and amplify stuff that is within."

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One example of the additions or amplifications is something fans have already seen in the first trailer. "One is the example you've seen, which is Sub-Zero takes Jax's arms," McQuoid explained. "Now we know that was Ermac and there's even been other slightly different iterations of that through the years. But in this particular story, I needed to inform Sub-Zero as much as I needed to inform how Jax loses them."

For the most part, though, McQuoid said he was "really wary" of diverting too far from the source material--even if the movie isn't including particular pieces of the established lore due to time constraints.

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"[The lore is] so complex that a film can't really house a lot of it," he said. "So there's a lot of it that's just not there. It doesn't mean we're not truthful to it, it's just that we couldn't touch everything. So [we] just tried to be as truthful and as true to that as we could when we talk about stuff. And as we sort of put it within the the film story construct, the sort of structure of our film, we had to consider, 'Is this too complex?'"

One example of that is a scene that was in the script but never ended up getting filmed.

"There was a whole scene that we took out that was really digging in deep simply because it was taking too much bandwidth," the director revealed. "It was doing lore really high service--like fans would be super, super happy. And we never shot it. So it doesn't exist. It's just something we considered. But it was taking up too much bandwidth for driving our film forward, it was just wrong just on a film sense."

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For fans of the established Mortal Kombat canon, though, there will likely be plenty for you to lose. As previously revealed, the movie includes Scorpion's origin story, along with a number of other things pulled directly from the games.

Mortal Kombat hits theaters and HBO Max on April 16.

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