Mortal Kombat 2021 producer Todd Garner says the filmmaking team explicitly set out to make the best fighting movie that's ever been made.
Mortal Kombat 2021 producer Todd Garner says the filmmaking team explicitly set out to make the best fighting movie that's ever been made. Releasing on HBO Max on April 16, less than a month away now, the video game adaptation has a long legacy to live up to. Not only are there two-and-a-half decades of classic games to emulate, but also two "so bad they're good" 1990s movie adaptations that did little to mend the reputation of video game movies as the poor cousin.
But there seems to have been a conscious effort from the filmmakers behind the 2021 adaptation to reassure fans that this is as far from those adaptations as possible. The first Mortal Kombat trailer is packed full of R-rated fatalities, leading to a little bit of hope for fans, and the character roster includes a number of classic characters from the video games, from Scorpion and Sub-zero to Liu Kang, Kung Lao and Shang Tsung. But the real challenge will be to properly translate the video games' classic fighting action to the screen, something which is easier said than done. But according to the filmmakers, the intention was explicitly to satisfy fan expectations in that regard.
Speaking at a roundtable interview ahead of the release of Mortal Kombat next month, producer Todd Garner said the most exciting part of coming on board the film as a fan of the video game series was seeing the fighting scenes. He says director Simon McQuoid set out to make Mortal Kombat "the best fighting movie" ever, adding the bar was set when he cast the best actors for the fight scenes as opposed to casting big stars who have hit shows. He also talks up the practical fight choreography, and says his favorite moment on set came when Kabal (Daniel Nelson) stepped out in costume. You can read his full comments below:
Seeing the fighting. Again, this is a quote that's been attributed to me on Twitter, but I didn't say it. Simon said it. Simon set out to make the best fighting movie that's ever been made. Time will tell if he's done it, but the fact that he set that bar and the fact that he cast the best guys and women possibly that could do this movie, not for box office or [because] they have a huge Twitter following or are on a huge hit CW show. But [because] they were the best Liu Kang, they were the best Kung Lao, they were the best Sonya Blade. And to see those talented artists go toe to toe with very, very intense fight choreography in a practical set in the middle of the Outback was awesome. Then just my own personal thing is the second Kabal walked on set, I lost my s---. It was amazing.
There's no doubt the filmmakers are proud of the fight scenes they've put in the movie, with McQuoid previously having boasted that Mortal Kombat has the best fight scenes on film. Whether the reality lives up to their words is unclear, but the footage seen so far certainly features some kinetic fight action, particularly in the scenes between Sub-Zero and Scorpion.
Hopefully what Garner and McQuoid are saying is less bombastic promotion of the film, and more reality, as audiences are desperate to see a Mortal Kombat movie which includes some truly thrilling fight scenes. If they are as good as the filmmaking team is saying, then the movie is set to be a hit, and could lead to the promise sequel, which producers have teased will include other classic characters, including Johnny Cage.