Original Mortal Kombat Director Says He Doesn't Buy Into the Curse of the Video Game Movie

It’s often been said that there’s a curse plaguing movie adaptions of video games that dooms those adaptations to so-so reception, but director Paul W.S. Anderson said he doesn’t really believe in the idea of that curse. Anderson has some experience in the field to own that take as well since he’s known for directing Mortal Kombat in 1995, the first movie adaptation of the acclaimed fighting game franchise. He’s worked on similar adaptations beyond that and even has another one coming next year when the Monster Hunter movie is released.

Anderson spoke to EW for the Mortal Kombat movie’s 25th anniversary to discuss different parts of the movie adaptation like the fight scenes and the idea of adapting games like these to meet fans’ expectations. When he was asked about the idea of a curse affecting these sorts of adaptations, he pointed out that people aren’t saying other kinds of mediums being adapted to movies are subject to any such curse.

“Lots of books get adapted and the adaptations don't work, but no one is saying book adaptations are cursed,” Anderson said.

He did say that video games can be tough to adapt, however. While it’s true enough that people don’t see book-to-movie adaptations as cursed in the same way they do video games, people often have specific expectations for the movies based on what they know of the characters, plots, and story moments of the games being adapted. Whether through casting decisions, story deviations, or something different entirely, those expectations sometimes aren’t always matched up with what a director envisions for the adaptation.

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The idea of a curse out there inhibiting these movie adaptations of games won’t ever really go away, but it will be put to the test within the next year or so since there are so many properties being turned into films and series. Just Cause is getting its own movie adaptation, The Last of Us is being turned into a TV series, and on the topic of Mortal Kombat, there’s a reboot of the films planned to release in January.

As for Anderson’s projects, he’s got his own movie adaptation to work on. He’s directing the Monster Hunter movie which was supposed to be releasing in just a few weeks but was recently pushed back to 2021. It’s now scheduled to release on April 23rd with Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa playing leading roles.