Update: Mortal Kombat producer Todd Garner refutes the reboot's character details on Twitter. The original article follows.
The character breakdowns for Warner Bros' upcoming movie reboot of Mortal Kombat have been revealed, shedding light on new and returning characters. In the 90s, there were two distinct type of fighting gamer, those who liked Street Fighter, and those who liked Mortal Kombat. While Street Fighter was glossy and colorful, Mortal Kombat was darkly lit, bloody, and carried a sinister edge. This duality carried over to their respective movie releases, with 1994's Street Fighter taking things in a pretty silly direction, while 1995's Mortal Kombat was all too eager to inflict fatalities on its characters, and tried its best to give off an air of what passed for cool in the 90s.
While it's pretty clear in hindsight that Mortal Kombat's movie wasn't nearly as cool or edgy as it desperately wanted to be, it's fair to say that it ended up winning the theatrical battle. Both Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat were critically panned, but MK did better at the box office, raking in $122 million on a budget of $18 million, while the higher-budgeted Street Fighter ($35 million) only earned $99 million. Mortal Kombat also tends to be much better remembered by fans than Street Fighter, outside of Raul Julia's hilariously hammy M. Bison performance. Sadly, 1997's disastrous Mortal Kombat: Annhilation succeeded in killing the franchise dead after only two films.
After a 20-plus year absence from the big screen, Warner Bros. and New Line are preparing to bring Mortal Kombat back to theaters, with an all-new movie reboot. That Hashtag Show has gotten its hands onto the character breakdowns for the movie. Check out the descriptions below:
COLE TURNERLead Male. 30s. A brand new character to the MK franchise. Cole is a struggling and widowed boxer who cares more about his young daughter than anything. He is incredibly determined and refuses to quit in the face of fantastical adversity.KANOSupporting Lead Male. 30s. The large, rugged Australian ex-special forces turned merc-for-hire. He is arrogant and impetuous but a tremendous fighter.SONYA BLADESupporting Lead Female. 30s. The beautiful, brainy blonde writer who chases the prophecy of Mortal Kombat. She recruits Cole and fights bravely and selflessly for a team she can only be a true part of once she earns a medallion in combat.JIN/LORD RAIDENMale. 14. The immortal thunder God and protector of the Earth realm, who leads and trains the Earth team in the Underworld.MILEENAFemale. 25-35. A drop dead gorgeous woman that is part of the Outworld side. She wears a sheer gown over thigh-high boots and a revealing one-piece, with a veil that covers her nose and mouth.JACKSON "JAX" BRIDGESMale. 30-40. “Jax” is a strapping mercenary/military officer who loses both of his hands in an attack and then joins Sonya and Cole to fight the Outworld.LIU KANGMale. 20-35. A fire throwing ninja warrior who is a talented Earth realm champion.KUNG LAOMale. 25-35. The mute warrior monk brother of Liu Kang, who yields an all powerful boomerang hat.SHANG TSUNGMale. No age specified. The great sorcerer of Outworld, whose presence is a storm cloud of dark energy. His ever-changing roulette of faces unfurls an evil smile.DRAHMINMale. 25-35. An Oni devil mask over his face, his body is composed of twisted sinewy skin, a heavy spiked club replaces one arm.KABALMale. 25-35. An evil assassin of Outworld, he is outfitted in a black armored vest and trench coat. His entire head is covered by a scarred black respirator. His signature weapons are two razor-sharp hook swords.NITARAFemale. 25-35. A black-haired vampire of Outworld. Two massive leathery batwings protrude from her bare shoulders. Fresh blood drips from her fangs.REIKOMale. 25-40. An armor-clad Outworld General with white glowing eyes. He drags a massive war hammer with him.THE OVERSEERMale. Late 80’s. The overseer of the clock tower and the training grounds that house the Earth realm warriors, he is laughably old.EMILYFemale. 12. Cole's scrappy, determined, and wise-beyond-her-years daughter.SOPHIAFemale. 60s. Cole’s understanding, discerning mother-in-law who houses Emily and is her primary guardian.JESSFemale. 30-35. Cole’s judgmental sister-in-law, who believes Cole to be a selfish, bad father. She lives with Sophia and Emily.
The most notable thing revealed above is that this rendition of Mortal Kombat will focus on an original character named Cole Turner, who presumably enters the titular tournament. Along with Cole comes his daughter, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law, who look to provide some familial conflict. This is a big change from the 1995 film, which focused entirely on the tournament, and centered on established game characters Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade. This insertion of a new character into the mix is sure to remind some of the controversial decision to center the Resident Evil movies around a character who never appeared in the games.
A detail above sure to make fans do a double take is that WB apparently wants to cast a 14-year-old boy as Raiden, god of thunder and protector of the realm of Earth. Raiden is traditionally depicted as an adult, and the idea of Liu Kang taking orders from a teenager is kind of hilarious. Of course, there may be a good story reason that they're choosing to go that route. Speaking of Liu, the descriptions for him, Kano, Mileena, Jax, Kung Lao, and Shang Tsung all sound pretty standard, Then one gets to Sonya, who's set to transform from a badass special forces soldier into a "beautiful, brainy blonde writer who chases the prophecy of Mortal Kombat." Well, that's certainly a different path to take, and one likely to annoy big fans of the traditional Sonya character.
Finally, one would be remiss to not mention the fact that the above character list is missing iconic Mortal Kombat characters Johnny Cage, Sub-Zero, and Scorpion. One wonders if the plan is really to not include them - which would surely anger many - or if producers just haven't started the casting process for them yet. While it's understandable to not be able to include every major fighter from the franchise in one movie, fans likely won't be happy if Cole Turner appears in Mortal Kombat, but Sub-Zero doesn't.
Source: That Hashtag Show