The first Mortal Kombat video game was developed by Midway Games and released in 1992. The storyline sees a diverse range of fighters hailing from eighteen different realms become pitted against one another in an epic tournament. Since then the Mortal Kombat property has put out two major motion pictures, a slew of video games, two TV series (one animated, one live-action), and an instantly recognizable theme song.
The phenomenal response to Mortal Kombat 9 and Mortal Kombat X has proven that there’s still life in the franchise, but it’s not the easiest project to translate to live-action. The first movie did an admirable job of bringing that world to life, but it was far from a perfect adaptation. If a new MK film is going to thrive in the modern box office, it needs to be more than just “okay.”
Warner Bros.’ New Line Cinema division has been trying to reboot the Mortal Kombat movie franchise for some time. At one point, Mortal Kombat: Legacy director Kevin Tancharoen was attached to the project but dropped out in 2013. In 2015, New Line brought in director James Wan (Saw, Insidious) to produce the reboot, with writers Dave Callaham (Doom, The Expendables) and Oren Uziel (Mortal Kombat: Legacy, 22 Jump Street) attached to write.
Then in 2016 James Wan brought on popular commercial Director Simon Mcquoid to helm the reboot. The Australian filmmaker was one of the most in-demand commercials directors in the business, working on high-profile campaigns for PlayStation, Halo, Range Rover, Beats by Dre, and other top brands.
Shortly thereafter James Wan brought on writer Greg Russo to pen the latest draft of the script. Russo and Wan are also developing a Resident Evil reboot together which looks to begin production in the very near future.
James Wan is a busy man as of late and it will be interesting to see just how much involvement he will have with this project moving forward. With Aquaman, Swamp Thing, and other projects in his future, there’s a chance he has to hand this off to the team he put in place.