When you're going to tackle a project like adapting Mortal Kombat for the big screen, there are going to be a few things that are vital in order to make it match up to the source material. However, finding the balance between what studio executives want in the movie compared to what those creating it are looking for can be hard to find. Perhaps no one knows of this struggle more than one of the key producers on the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie.
Speaking during a new press event that ComicBook.com attended, it was asked of Mortal Kombat producer Todd Garner what guarantees he needed to have in order to pursue making the film. Garner said that he had a list of "demands" that he needed Warner Bros. Pictures to grant him in order to make the movie in the way that he and the team envisioned. "One was that it has to be R-rated, two, has to be diverse.," Garner said of his first two asks. "Three, has to be faithful to the culture of each character. Four, they've got to be martial artists. Five, it would really be good if they were the best martial artists. Not surprisingly, that took me seven years to get this movie made."
Talking more specifically to the length of time that it took for Mortal Kombat to get greenlit, he expressed that a number of other major movies that came out in recent years helped prove the points he was making. "I had a lot of demands and it took a minute to get them to catch up with my demands," Garner explained. "And so luckily in the meantime, great movies like Crazy Rich Asians got made, Black Panther got made, all these movies that had diverse casts where they went, 'You can make a lot of money with diverse casts.' I'm like, "Wow, imagine that?" Imagine making a movie that just happens to have a diverse cast in it that's a great movie. 'How about that?'"
Even though it took a while to get Mortal Kombat greenlit in its current form, Garner had nothing but good things to say about those that he has worked with at Warner Bros. through this process. "So it was from the beginning, we knew what this movie was and what it wasn't going to be. And it took seven years to get it made, to get it made the way we wanted to get it made. So it's not unusual for movies that they take a long time. So it wasn't like these demands were unusual," he said. "What is completely amazing is that Warner Bros. agreed to it all. They're amazing."
Mortal Kombat is set to debut both in theaters and on HBO Max next month on April 16th.