New Line Cinema is fast-tracking their Mortal Kombat reboot, set to film at Adelaide Studios in South Australia this fall, and we have the first batch of cast announcements courtesy of THR. According to an exclusive report published yesterday, the project has begun filling out its cast; which will officially consist of Ludi Lin (Power Rangers, Black Mirror) as “monk-turned-fighter” Liu Kang, Joe Taslim (The Night Comes For Us, Fast & Furious 6) as assassin Sub-Zero, Mechad Brooks (Supergirl, True Blood) as Special Forces strongman Jax, Tadanobu Asano (The Outsider, Thor) as the thunder god Raiden and newcomer Sisi Stringer as savage genetic experiment Mileena. Of interesting note, Brigitte Van Damme (daughter of Jean-Claude Van Damme) previously auditioned for the role of Mileena; while Ryan Reynolds, Joel Edgerton and Trish Stratus were variously rumored to be in consideration for Johnny Cage, Kano and Sonya Blade. Simon McQuoid is making his directorial debut from a script by Greg Russo, who’s also working on scripts for adaptations of Saint’s Row, F.E.A.R., Space Invaders and the Resident Evil reboot. There’s still no official word on the plot, but the film is reportedly going to be hard R-rated (Fatalities will be included) and feature a diverse, international cast.
McQuoid, who is a former resident of Adelaide, previously spoke about the production, saying:
“Having lived in Adelaide early in my career, I am thrilled to be back in South Australia to make my directorial debut with Mortal Kombat. We need many different elements for its success and have found them all right here-the uniquely beautiful landscapes, the outstanding world-class stage facilities and VFX houses, and the brilliant artists and technicians from across the film-making community. I’m grateful to the Premier and people of South Australia for having us, we’re all very excited to be here.”
The project follows in the footsteps of the 1995 feature film directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter), which starred Robin Shou, Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson and Christopher Lambert. It went on to gross $122 million worldwide from a budget of $18 million; becoming the first commercially successful video game feature film adaptation following attempts by Super Mario Bros., Double Dragon, and Street Fighter and launched Anderson’s career. The 1997 follow-up—Mortal Kombat: Annihilation—featured Shou as the only returning castmember from the previous film; but it only made $51.3 million from its $30 million budget and was savaged by fans and critics. This effectively killed plans for a third film, and the franchise has been floundering on the cinematic side ever since. Director Kevin Tancharoen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Flash)—who helmed the Mortal Kombat: Rebirth short film and subsequent Mortal Kombat: Legacy webseries—was originally set to direct the reboot from a script by Oren Uziel (The Cloverfield Paradox, 22 Jump Street) for a 2013 release. Delays due to budget constraints led to Tancharoen leaving the project before that iteration was scrapped altogether.
Mortal Kombat is slated for release on March 5, 2021.