The Mortal Kombat reboot is becoming one of the more anticipated releases of 2021, especially after the epic trailer was released last month.
Syfy Wire got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the production while in progress, and wrote up their findings. For martial arts fans, director Simon McQuoid’s emphasis on fight choreography will be of particular interest. “The first thing I said to Kyle, our stunt coordinator, was, ‘You have to make the best fights that have ever been put on film.”
So, no pressure, Kyle.
Kyle Gardiner, the stunt designer, has a long resume of big Hollywood movies, such as Aquaman (2018) and The Wolverine (2013). However, it is rare he gets the opportunity to work with a cast so packed with athletes. Clearly, Gardiner accepted the challenge and utilized the abilities of the actors. Producer Todd Garner boasted, “We have scenes with over 200 beats of fight choreography in one shot.”
As mentioned on Bloody Elbow previously, Mortal Kombat has a great cast of martial artists. The film kicks off in feudal Japan, with Sub-Zero, played by silat phenom Joe Taslim, facing off against Scorpion, played by Hiroyuki Sonata. The filmmakers wanted to include the Scorpion origin story in an effort to please longtime fans of Mortal Kombat.
While there is much to entertain Mortal Kombat veterans, the character of Cole Young, an MMA fighter new to the tournament, was created for those unfamiliar with the lore. Young is played by Lewis Tan, who is not just an actor but is also an exceptional fight choreographer. Producer Garner told Syfy Wire, Lewis is “the eyes of anyone who’s never played the game.”
Other Mortal Kombat characters set to appear in the reboot are Kabal, Reptile, and Mileena. Mileena will be played by Sisi Stringer, and fans who were unimpressed by the mouth special effects in the trailer will be glad to know that is not her final look.
Many fans have discussed the presence—or lack thereof— of Johnny Cage. While he is nowhere in the trailer Garner does drop a big hint he may make an appearance. “I definitely will not say that there is no Johnny Cage in this movie when pressed on the subject. And I promise you that Johnny Cage lives in the Mortal Kombat universe.”
The Warner Bros. picture will hit theaters and stream exclusively on HBO Max on April 16.