Will Mortal Kombat get a sequel? That was the original question people were asking before the first movie came out. While it seemed like it may do well, it wasn’t clear how well it would do. Now, according to HBO executive Brad Wilson, the movie is one of the top assets on the platform. They weren’t expecting that. An unexpected hit is a blessing for the platform, but now they need a plan. They have to figure out how they move forward to capitalize on this unexpected success. Are they ready to get into the world of building a cinematic universe?
In an interview with IGN where the executive spoke about everything from Godzilla Vs. Kong to Friends, he was asked what he sees for crossover appeal on HBO Max from customers, and how it is that they go about deciding on new properties to further develop. Brad Wilson said that while they knew that Mortal Kombat would do well on the platform, they hadn’t expected it to do as well as it has. He didn’t share specific numbers. However, he did share that the movie has turned into one of the top assets on the platform. He also said that they can see those customers are watching the movie and then crossing over to check out other HBO Max titles. This means that the viewers coming to HBO Max for Mortal Kombat are proving to be valuable for the streaming platform.
When talking about how HBO Max makes decisions on what does and doesn’t get made, he said they do use that data to inform future programming decisions. Taking that into consideration, it seems inevitable that they’ll have to make Mortal Kombat 2. It would be silly to not make a sequel to a project that has turned into one of their top assets on the platform. They need to keep those customers happily subscribed and waiting for more content from the creators they just checked out, right? And the team behind the original already has story ideas for the sequel, including plans to finally bring in fan-favorite character Johnny Cage.
While a sequel seems obvious, it also hints that they could be making much bigger moves soon, the kind that could build a Mortal Kombat cinematic universe on the platform, should all go well. What kind of spinoff series could the platform create? Instead of just having fan-favorite Johnny Cage in a direct sequel, could they use that to introduce him and then give him his own series?
Any time that a writer, producer, or anyone else involved with the Mortal Kombat movie was interviewed, they were asked about the strange absence of Johnny Cage from that first movie. The character has a big personality. The team has said that his personality served a lot of the same roles as other characters, like Kano, and would wind up taking too much attention away from the other characters. They plan to introduce him in the sequel. However, when you have a top performer on your hands, one with a bunch of established history through the games, it seems like the obvious movie is to create Mortal Kombat spinoff series. And the most obvious opportunity to do that is with Johnny Cage, the character fans can’t stop asking about.
It will be interesting to see how HBO Max decides to move forward. Brad Wilson did say that running a streaming service is new terrain. They are learning how to make these decisions and balance the art and science of it. Hopefully, they’ll see this opportunity in front of them and put the right people in place to take advantage for fans who want more Johnny Cage and more Mortal Kombat on their screens.