The Mortal Kombat reboot will closely adhere to the video games in some notable ways. While big screen adaptations of video game properties often take some creative licenses with the source material, it was important to producer Todd Garner that the film stayed true to the games in one respect: the characters' nationalities. This is one element that will be different from the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie, which featured a few actors that weren't representative of the games. In a Mortal Kombat set visit, Garner discussed the decision, and how it was a way to be faithful to the franchise.
"...so going back to being true to the game, all those characters for the first time in a movie, are really cast the appropriate way, whatever nationality they are. And if they're an alien or demon woman, they didn't really have an origin or nationality," said Garner.
"[It's] a testament to Warner Brothers and New Line, to allow us to do that. We want to, you know, you notice... I mean there's big-name actors for their genres but nobody is... There's no Christopher Lambert in the movie, no offense. You know, in the '95 movie, Sub-Zero was a French gymnast. So we wanted to make sure that we were very true to the game, and again, in order to do that, you have to take certain licenses. Otherwise, you're just jumping into Mortal Kombat. We felt like that would be limiting in terms of just the rest of the world."
Liu Kang actor Ludi Lin credits director Simon McQuoid with the decision to cast actors that adhere to the nationalities established in the games, but Garner is right that it never would have happened without Warner Bros. and New Line allowing them to follow that vision. The previous Mortal Kombat had a big-name actor in Lambert, but most of the names in the new film are better known in their specific genres. That can be a tough sell for a studio, but it gave the filmmakers a way to make the film true to the games, while also making the project appealing to international markets. It remains to be seen whether or not that will pay off for Mortal Kombat, but the film already seems to have gained a lot of good will from fans as a result.
The Mortal Kombat film reboot will release in theaters and on HBO Max April 16th. Readers can find out more by checking out the rest of ComicBook.com's coverage of the Mortal Kombat reboot right here.
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