Mortal Kombat: The R-Rated Release Delayed One More Week

By Rick Gonzales

mortal kombat poster 2021

It’s back! While it may not have been necessary, Mortal Kombat is coming back to the big screen and yes, to the HBO Max streaming service simultaneously. It promises to be a gory good time.

Here’s everything we know about the new Mortal Kombat movie so far.


We’ve been anxiously awaiting it and now it’s here. Watch the bloody, red band trailer for Mortal Kombat right above. It is filled with tons of characters and all the bloody fun you would expect from an adaptation of the popular video game series.


Before the first trailer drops, you can get a sneak peek at Mortal Kombat with the above HBO Max preview. You’ll get some snippets of fan-favorite characters like Sonya Blade and Sub-Zero. There is no doubt that this new movie is looking to bring some of these fighters to life in a way we have never seen in live-action before.


Mortal Kombat is being brought to big and small screens by writer/director/producer James Wan. As a writer, Wan has helped pen many in the Saw franchise, as well as the Conjuring and Insidious universes. As a director, Wan has mainly focused on horror, with the previously mentioned Saw, Conjuring, and Insidious movies but he has also ventured out with Furious 7 and most recently Aquaman. He is on board to direct Aquaman 2.

But as a producer, Wan has really stepped up his game. From his beginnings with the entire Saw franchise, his horror resume is quite impressive. But Wan has also jumped over to the television side of the business by producing Swamp Thing and the on-going reboot of MacGyver. So him bringing back Mortal Kombat as a movie is not surprising and it will be interesting to see what influence he brings to the movie.

What may be more surprising than James Wan attempting to resurrect Mortal Kombat movies is the fact that the reins to the reboot have been given to the first-time director Simon McQuoid. He is an Australian filmmaker, but his forte has been commercials. Granted, he does them well and is very much in demand when it comes to shooting commercials. But James Wan loves what he sees from McQuoid’s work, which includes such high-profile brands as Range Rover, PlayStation, Beats by Dre, and Halo. Wan has the utmost confidence in McQuoid being able to bring home an exciting Mortal Kombat reboot.


So, who exactly is in this thing? Looks like Warner Bros., Wan, and director McQuoid are looking specifically at the martial arts aspect of the movie as their line-up shows.

Mortal Kombat reboot movie
Joe Taslim in The Raid: Redemption

Joe Taslim kicks off as Sub-Zero, one of the main characters in Mortal Kombat lore. Taslim is a talented martial artist having starred in films such as The Raid: Redemption and The Night Comes for Us.

Hiroyuki Sanada in The Last Samurai

Hiroyuki Sanada will play Scorpion. Sanada has been in many American films, most notably The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise, The Wolverine, The Last Ship, and in a horribly wasted role in Avengers: Endgame. Game players will know that Scorpion and Sub-Zero have a deep connection.

Mortal Kombat reboot movie
Tadanobu Asano in Thor

Another main character from the video game is Raiden and yes, the God of Thunder will make an appearance. He will be played by Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano who boasts an impressive list of Japanese films. He may best be known in America as Hogun, one of Thor’s Warriors in Thor, Thor: Dark World, and Thor: Ragnarok.

Jessica McNamee

Onboard as Sonya Blade is Jessica McNamee. She recently starred in the big shark thriller The Meg with Jason Statham.

Mortal Kombat reboot movie
Chin Han in The Dark Knight

Chin Han will star as Shang Tsung, Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Mehcad Brooks is Jax, Josh Lawson will play Kano, and Max Huang is Kung Lao.


The game

The screenwriter for Mortal Kombat is Greg Russo and he wanted to make one thing perfectly clear, which was music to Mortal Kombat fans across the globe. The movie will carry an R-rating and it will include the much-anticipated staple of the Mortal Kombat game: fatalities.

Russo went to the Twitterverse to announce those plans. “Since it’s already been stated by other members of the team, I’m gonna put this one to bed. MK WILL be R-Rated and for the first time EVER, FATALITIES will FINALLY be on the big screen (and no I’m not gonna say which ones) You’ll just have to wait for the movie & see!!! ;)”

And to back him up, one of Mortal Kombat’s other producers, Todd Garner told Collider Live, “It’s very R rated and it’s much more like the game,” he said. “You can’t ignore that there’s a Mortal Kombat 11. To be clear, we’re not remaking the 1995 movie and we’re not doing the storyline that’s in Mortal Kombat 11 because there’s been a whole universe. It’s like comic books. So we’re going back and looking at some of the older storylines and some of the mythology, being very very very very aware of each character’s origin, their nationality, being very sensitive to that, being authentic to that.”

But he also added teasingly, “By the time this movie comes out the game will have another iteration. And so there’s new characters and things like that that we’re gonna introduce,” he said. “We’re trying to take all of it into consideration.” Mortal Kombat fans can rejoice.

Warner Bros. continues to be in the headline-making mode as it just released the official logo for Mortal Kombat.

mortal kombat poster 2021

The logo keeps a simplistic look, paying homage to Mortal Kombat of the past while also giving it a never-before-seen design that is modern and reflects back to some of the more recent Mortal Kombat games.


It looks like you can expect to watch Mortal Kombat in theaters and at home on HBO Max on Friday, April 23, 2021. The film will debut as part of Warner Bros. new distribution plan that will see movies launch in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service at the same time. You can catch Mortal Kombat streaming on HBO Max starting at 12 AM PST/3 AM EST on the 23rd and then for the 30 days following.

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