The Mortal Kombat Reboot Should Lead to a Street Fighter Reboot

After years of waiting, the Mortal Kombat reboot film officially released last month to what by all accounts was a pretty successful debut given the oddities of the past year and the continued COVID-19 pandemic. It did well at the box office on its opening weekend considering the challenges it faced, and a whole bunch of people seem to have watched it on HBO Max. Honestly? It feels like a sequel to the film is more of a “when” and not an “if” conversation at the moment. But if there’s one thing beyond a sequel that the recent Mortal Kombat reboot movie should lead to, it’s a Street Fighter reboot movie.

Now, does there really need to be a new Street Fighter reboot movie? No, of course not; the world will keep turning without it, and other movies will get made. But if Hollywood is looking to mine lore-filled fighting video games for adaptations, the next natural installment beyond Mortal Kombat could and should be Street Fighter. After all, both franchises had their shot in the ‘90s around the same time.

If you are somehow not familiar, a Street Fighter movie released in 1994, and it starred Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile, Raul Julia as Bison, Ming-Na Wen as Chun-Li, Kylie Minogue as Cammy, and more. Of these, Wen and Julia were perhaps the best fit for their roles, and the most memorable scene from the scene decades later remains one between Bison and Chun-Li. It’s a fairly stacked casting, especially when you compare it to the lesser-known cast for the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie. Both movies were commercially successful but had a mixed at best reception from critics at the time.

The Street Fighter movie in particular came across as a campy, overwrought romp, which while that is certainly one way you could adapt the franchise, the Mortal Kombat reboot does offer an alternative avenue of focusing on the fights and what makes the franchise unique. The Mortal Kombat reboot still makes plenty of goofs, but it takes the serious parts seriously. The trick is in synthesizing the two together.

And that isn’t to say that a new Street Fighter reboot movie should happen purely because of the critical reception to the new Mortal Kombat movie. The 2021 reboot currently only sits a whopping 11% over the original 1995 movie on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s more that there’s been plenty of time between now and 1994. After 30 years, Street Fighter really deserves another round in the box-office ring.

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Bloody, action-packed fights? Street Fighter’s got that. A large roster of characters to pull from with intricate, interwoven backstories? Street Fighter’s got that too. While the Street Fighter franchise might not have Fatalities like Mortal Kombat, which provides an excellent excuse for gore and splatter, it does have unique, powerful moves like Super and Ultra Combos. There are plenty of other fighting video game franchises that would make for great movie adaptations in this day and age like Soul Calibur or Tekken, but Street Fighter most closely aligns with Mortal Kombat as a franchise compared to many of the other possibilities.

And given the penchant for Hollywood to reboot previously attempted franchises, it really doesn’t feel outside the realm of possibility that a new Street Fighter movie adaptation could happen over the next decade. The video games remain popular, after all, which is part of what helped the Mortal Kombat reboot movie get made. All I’m saying here is that it should, given the success of 2021’s Mortal Kombat, happen sooner rather than later. Ryu and Ken deserve at least that much.