Work on the live-action Mortal Kombat movie reboot is really starting to heat up, as New Line Cinema has announced the casting of even more classic characters from the iconic NetherRealm fighting franchise.
Variety reports that Chin Han (The Dark Knight) will be playing the demonic warlock Shang Tsung, while Hiroyuki Sanada (Westworld, Life) will be playing Scorpion – arguably the most iconic character of Mortal Kombat. Both characters have been a part of the franchise since the 1992 original, though.
I have to say, New Line has been nailing the casting of this film so far. Han and Sanada will be joined by a number of top-notch actors set to embody other classic characters from the franchise. Variety recently confirmed that Ludi Lin had been cast as Shaolin monk Liu Kang, who’s also been a staple of the Mortal Kombat roster since the 1992 original.
He’ll be joined by Supergirl actor Mehcad Brooks as Jax (sorry, Terry Crews), newcomer Sisi Stringer as assassin Mileena, and Joe Taslim (The Raid), who’ll be playing Sub Zero.
It doesn’t stop there, though – even more familiar faces from the games are set to make an appearance, as The Hollywood Reporter revealed just days ago that Sonya Blade will be played by Aussie actress Jessica McNamee, metal-faced bad guy Kano is being played by Josh Lawson, and Tadanobu Asano is currently in talks to play Raiden.
Mortal Kombat is being produced by James Wan (The Conjuring, Aquaman) and is the feature directorial debut of Simon McQuoid. The reboot was announced back in 2016 – though Warner Bros has been trying to get a reboot off the ground since 2011.
While we don’t know anything about the movie’s plot just yet, I’m actually allowing myself to be quietly optimistic at this stage. My only real concern is that Simon McQuoid hasn’t really proven himself on a feature film yet, and video game adaptations are a notoriously tricky to get right in that nobody has really managed to do so yet.
Still, we’ve got a wonderfully diverse cast so far, and we know thanks to screenwriter Greg Russo that the movie be R-rated and feature big screen fatalities that don’t shy away from gore, which is what we all want from a Mortal Kombat flick, right?
Mortal Kombat is set for a March 5th, 2021 release date. Filming starts soon in South Australia, so I’d imagine we can expect to hear more about the reboot as we step into 2020.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.