As if it were ever in doubt, the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie will indeed be an R-rated film when it releases in theaters and on HBO Max on April 23rd. The cast and crew have gone on record multiple times talking about the importance of the violence and gore to the franchise, and during a recent press event attended by ComicBook.com, director Simon McQuoid explained that just how far to push the envelope was constantly on the mind of those people putting the movie together.
"It was something that took up a fair amount of brainpower amongst us," said McQuoid, "because we didn't want to underdo it and we didn't want to overdo it. So, overdoing it means... When certain things in the game, if you tried to make a real version of that, the film would be unreleasable. That's just the fact of it. But we knew we wanted to get up to the line and not cross it, and that was really... The discussions were about that."
More specifically, McQuoid said that line producer Bennett Walsh was instrumental in making sure the movie earned its R rating without doing too much or too little. "Bennett's not someone who spends a lot of time talking about himself, but is really, really important to this movie," he added. "So, Bennett worked on Kill Bill, and he knows about blood and knows about ratings and stuff like that, so he was really important and really helped me and the team calibrate where we needed to be. So, yeah, we talked about it a lot, and stylistically, that needed to feel right, too. It was a lot of discussions about blood."
Here is the official synopsis for the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie, in case you missed it:
"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?"
The Mortal Kombat reboot film is now scheduled to release on April 23rd on both HBO Max and in theaters. The cast includes Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Mehcad Brooks as Jax, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion, Josh Lawson as Kano, Tadanobu Asano as Raiden, Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, Chin Han as Shang Tsung, Sisi Stringer as Mileena, and Lewis Tan as new character Cole Young. It wrapped filming in late 2019. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the film right here.
What do you think about what we have seen of the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie so far? Are you excited that it will be an R-rated movie? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things gaming!