The original script for the upcoming Mortal Kombat was going to be like an R-rated Avengers movie. It’s no secret that video game movies have had it tough in Hollywood. Several studios have tried to adapt several different video game franchises onto the big screen over the years. Some of the most recent efforts were Duncan Jones’ Warcraft and Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed. While those movies didn’t do much to break the video game movie curse, that doesn’t mean Hollywood will be stopping anytime soon.
One of the earliest efforts by the industry to capture the world of video games on the silver screen was adapting Mortal Kombat in the early ’90s. While it did exceptionally well at the worldwide box office, it wasn’t a hit with critics. It was virtually the same way with its sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, which released in 1997. 20 years later, there’s a reboot in the works with James Wan producing and Simon McQuoid directing.
New Line Cinema first announced the Mortal Kombat reboot in 2011, with Oren Uziel penning the script. While doing press for his latest film, Netflix’s Shimmer Lake, Uziel told Collider that his original screenplay the reboot felt like Wanted as well as an R-rated Avengers movie.
“Well, and again I don’t know what remains of this, but I know that it was going to be—it’s almost like if you took The Avengers, or if you took a storyline like that and set it in a sort of hard-R, over-the-top violence and hard-edged world of Mortal Kombat. It was a little bit like that, it was a little bit like a Wanted-type story that brought together a bunch of these characters and just pulled zero punches, and had a tone that was still fun but very dark.”
It’s not all that surprising that the Mortal Kombat reboot would have an R-rated feel to it, considering the brutal nature of the video games the movie is based on. But what’s interesting about Uziel’s comments is that his original script — which the reboot may or may not use in the end — would have a storyline similar to Joss Whedon’s Avengers movie. It makes sense given what he says about a group of characters coming together to presumably battle a singular enemy.
The Mortal Kombat games are brimming with iconic characters, such as Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Johnny Cage. It’s unclear how far along the reboot is in the development stage, but considering that Wan has his hands full with Aquaman, and Uziel appears to no longer be working on the movie, it might be a while before fans get to see their favorite fighting characters back on the big screen. But when Mortal Kombat finally does release, hopefully, it avoids the pitfalls that have plagued previous video game movies.