Jeremy Slater, fresh off the success of Moon Knight for Disney+, is writing a sequel to 2021's Mortal Kombat, a movie that did enormous numbers on HBO Max and helped drive the app's success at a time when Warner Bros. was not making much in theaters. The sequel is in pre-production, with no specific release date in mind. During a recent Moon Knight interview with ComicBook.com, we asked Slater about plans for the video game sequel, and he teased that he is planning to have some fun with the fatalities in MK2. The fight-ending killings, which made the original Mortal Kombat video games notorious with parents groups, are baked into the DNA of almost every adaptation since.
Of course, it has to be driven by story and character, not just an excuse to slice somebody up. That's the balance Slater says he needs to strike.
"I feel like the gore in Mortal Kombat is awesome and it's part of what people come for, you always have to find that balance between fun gore and gross gore, right?" Slater said. "Because there's times where you rip someone's heart off or the best kill in the first movie is Kung Lao's spinning hat just sort of slicing her in half and that's the perfect example of fun gore because it's disgusting, but everyone laughs at the same time, right? You want to make sure that everyone is sort of laughing at the sort of audacity of the gore and they're not sitting there sort of sickened by close ups of dripping entrails and visceral and things like that. There's a tongue in cheek aspect of Mortal Kombat in terms of the violence and in terms of the gore, there's a little bit of winking at the audience and saying like, "Yeah, we know this is ridiculous, but it's really fun and we're all in on the joke together." And when you find the right balance, I think that's where you get moments like that incredibly bloody first battle that opens the first movie with score with Hanzo sort of tearing through all the assassins or you get the hat gag or things like that. So we're looking at how do we emulate those gore moments from the first one that were really, really successful and got huge audience reactions and how do we give the audience even more this time around."
Here's the official synopsis for Mortal Kombat, which is streaming on HBO Max:
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?