‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy’ Cast Talks Season 2, Original Film and a Modernized Take

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 24th, 2013 at 10:12 am,

Mortal Kombat Legacy Season 2 Mortal Kombat: Legacy Cast Talks Season 2, Original Film and a Modernized Take

Proving that movie fans never tire of some good old-fashioned hand-to-hand combat, Mortal Kombat Legacy‘s re-imagined take on the world and characters of the video game and film series reached levels of success rarely seen in the world of free digital distribution. That success not only earned director Kevin Tancharoen the chance to make a live-action Mortal Kombat feature film, but a second season of Legacy as well.

The trailer for season two already promised that the short origin stories for each fighter were finished, making way for a linear story involving all players with Earth’s fate in the balance. We got the chance to speak with the cast during San Diego Comic-Con and get their opinions on why, even now, fans flock to the Mortal Kombat brand.

Ian Anthony Dale (Hawaii Five-O), Brian Tee (Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift) and Samantha Jo explained their own feelings about the first attempt to adapt the game to film, and why the time is right for a darker, more grounded story within the franchise:

Mortal Kombat Legacy Season 2 Scorpion Mortal Kombat: Legacy Cast Talks Season 2, Original Film and a Modernized Take

Ian Anthony Dale as Scorpion

It’s easy to forget just how much of a cultural touchstone the Mortal Kombat series truly is, until a new chapter is written; did your interest in the property come from playing it early on, or only since landing the part?

BT: I was a huge fan of ‘Mortal Kombat’ as a kid, and what really kind of drew me was the brutality of it; all the fatalities and stuff. I wanted to win so bad just to get them.

SJ: I used to play all the time when I was younger with my brothers and they’d always be Scorpion… it has such a nostalgic feel to me every time I think of it, so I was so stoked for the web series to be able to bring that back.

IAD: I’m a little different from those two: I didn’t play the game as a kid but the property was so culturally pervasive and has been for such a long time – even when I didn’t play it, I was still very aware of it. Very aware of who the characters were. I’ve seen images of Scorpion and I knew that there was something about this that I liked. So obviously it has a universal appeal even for those who don’t even play the game.

Well, there’s no way to mention Mortal Kombat in pop culture without paying particular attention to the previous film adaptations. What were your feelings about the first movies? Did you see them when they came out?

BT: I mean… I felt for me as a kid, to be completely honest, in the ’90s I thought it was cool to bring these characters to life and watch them in a movie. I think what our series does in comparison to that is round out the characters, their story lines, their rivalries that we’ve talked about. And the fighting, and the action and special effects bring it to a whole new level.

Mortal Kombat Season 2 Liu Kang Mortal Kombat: Legacy Cast Talks Season 2, Original Film and a Modernized Take

Brian Tee as Liu Kang

IAD: It’s been modernized. There’s not that campiness that’s synonymous with those ’90s video games-to-film adaptations. There’s a grittiness and a realness, especially with season 2 with certain performances – specifically Brian’s portrayal of a tortured Liu Kang – it’s gritty, it’s real, there’s nothing campy about it. I hope we get the chance to make a feature one day, we’d like to do it in the same vein of ‘Mortal Kombat: Rebirth,’ Kevin [Tancharoen]‘s fan made video that kind of started this whole re-imagining, rebirth of the franchise. Really gritty, really dark, really real – as real as you could be when you got people with blades coming out of their arms.

Unfortunately for fans of Tancharoen’s original Mortal Kombat: Rebirth short film, most if not all of the extremely dark and graphic twists on MK characters were toned down for Legacy, and presumably the upcoming movie. A less hard R rated web series still packed plenty of fan-favorite rivalries and impressive hand-to-hand combat, but there’s no question that the series will need to change with the times if it hopes to be anything but a quaint remnant of a cheesier past.

For the cast, that shift begins with the man in charge:

BT: The great thing that I think Tancharoen has done is bring that fantasy world to such a groundedness people can viscerally feel. The story lines are all still there, nothing has really changed, except for the style I would say. You have the Sub-Zero/Scorpion rivalry all throughout – from ‘Rebirth’ to season 1 through season 2 – and it was really explored on screen. It’s one of the most influential character archetypes that you’ll definitely love to watch.

Mortal Kombat Legacy Season 2 Kitana Mortal Kombat: Legacy Cast Talks Season 2, Original Film and a Modernized Take

Samantha Jo reprises her role as Kitana

SJ: The ’90s film… it was great. That was the trend, that was the style, and that was what people wanted to see. That was ‘Mortal Kombat’ back then. But now, trends and styles of filmmaking change and what this web series does, like Ian said, it modernized it. All these stories are gritty and darker and that’s just what people want to see now – it just matches so perfectly the true essence of the game. This game is gory and violent as hell. So now that the times are kind of matched with that style, I think it’s the perfect time. It’s the future, a truly new future for [the series].

Mortal Kombat Legacy‘s cast may largely consists of actor and actresses falling into those known by roles, not names, but that’s looking to change. With Brian Tee set to take the spotlight as Noburo Mori in The Wolverine (2013), and stuntwoman-turned-actress Samantha Jo fresh off of work on Man of Steel (2013), the odds of seeing the cast reprise their roles in the upcoming film may be rising.

Fans will have to wait until September to see if the foundations of the next chapter in the Mortal Kombat franchise are strong enough for a full-scale blockbuster, but given that the feature film and web series aren’t going to be directly linked, Tancharoen has a bit of flexibility.


Mortal Kombat Legacy Season 2 is scheduled to premiere in September on Machinima.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
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  1. They need to get things going before people lose interest

  2. I don’t care how long it takes, Rebirth needs to get made. I about crapped myself when I saw the trailer they made. Until the recent news of World’s Finest, I had never been so amped for a movie. I can wait. And until then, we have Legacy.

  3. I dunno about Samantha Jo’s comment that the original film is what people wanted to see. I enjoyed it at the time, but even back then I would’ve rather seen a more violent film. At the time I was just excited to see a physical Scorpion and Sub-Zero.

    • Im a believer that not every actor/actress really knows the history or the desires of what fans want, but they do these press rounds and try as best they can to come off as understanding of the material, so that way fans wont feel like they are a bad choice. Regardless, fans are going to have an opinion, but I agree with you. The original film is a childhood favorite of mine. I remember being a kid and blown away by the film and the sequel. But when I got older and came to the realization that the films were heavily watered down, I desired a darker and violent film to match the source. Heres hoping they do it justice

  4. I liked the first season. I am looking forward to the second one.

  5. Web series and the movie is coming when? Not that I am lying with mouth agape in anticipation. What world could you have a alien woman with exorbitant breasts wear a costume that provides perfect coverage even in the heat of battle? Other than any modern era comic book released after 1980?

  6. Although I enjoyed the first series, I must admit I’m a bit disappointment with the recasting of the actors. Plus, when will this new season be released? It feels like it’s been ages since the previous announcement. I know it takes a lot of time to produce a series, but at least they could release a teaser every now and then, to keep the hype up.

    • It’s in the article. September of this year.

  7. Love the first movie. Hated the second but felt they should’ve been more violent, even as an 11 year old child when the first movie released, I wanted it to be as violent as the games.

    Having said that, I didn’t like the first TV series and having seen Rebirth and Legacy, I don’t like them either. It’s cool going dark and gritty but when you still don’t have the characters exact (Scorpion’s weird mask is just one example).

    • Forgot to add that some of us still quote Johnny Cage and Kano to this day because of that first movie and Trevor Goddard’s performance as Kano helped change continuity so that Kano became an Australian in subsequent games thanks to him.