Mortal Kombat Movie Gets 2021 Release Date

According to reports from Deadline, Warner Bros. announced that the new Mortal Kombat movie will be released on March 5, 2021. As of right now, this will go directly head-to-head with Sony and Mattel’s Masters of the Universe which was recently pushed back to this date as well.

The film is still slated to be produced by James Wan and will be directed by newcomer Simon McQuoid – a veteran and acclaimed commercial director for various companies such as Playstation, Duracell, and Nissan.

The film has started pre-production in South Australia, with no further details on cast or plot. Time will tell if the March 5th, 2021 date holds firm, but it’s a very positive sign to see James Wan and Warner Bros. still moving forward with a new Mortal Kombat movie.

James Wan

adamDMK’s Thoughts: A quick op-ed piece from yours truly. I’m super excited to finally see some concrete news on the next Mortal Kombat movie. The media aspects of Mortal Kombat, which marries the deep lore and history from the video games to the exciting characters and martial arts action is one of my favorite things about this franchise.

James Wan is a super-talented filmmaker, and I feel he can get his vision across properly. Also, curious to see what Simon McQuoid can offer. Looking through his resume of the commercials he’s filmed, some of them iconic even, I feel the movie is in very good hands. However, as we’ve recently seen with season 8 of GoT, your film can be stylistically and visually amazing, but if the plot is contrived, nonsensical, and cheesy – it won’t matter how great the film looks. James Wan has expressed a desire to do things right – so here’s hoping the previous plot “leaks” were just fan created and we get a proper adaptation of the Mortal Kombat story.

I’m a bit skeptical though – and given how the timelines and storyline in the Mortal Kombat video games are a bit “all over the place” if you will, Warner Bros. might play it safe and combine recent storylines and give in to fan service – which may or may not work well. Keeping in mind Warner Bros. recent track record of handling the Justice League and Suicide Squad franchises in particular, I’m very cautious to see how things will play out. I’m hoping my skepticism turns into a sigh of relief and we get a fun, popcorn movie with all of our favorite Kombatants and a coherent story.

Last thing I’ll say, I still feel strongly that a movie is not the proper medium for Mortal Kombat. Come @ me bro! Telling a story this complex with all of the lore in less than 120 minutes does not do the franchise justice, and we end up with a contrived mess. It CAN be done right, as we’ve seen Threshold and Paul W.S. Anderson having the right idea in 1995 – streamlining the plot and action sequences. It wasn’t rocket science then though either – good guys versus bad guys, fighting in an ancient martial arts tournament to determine the fate of the world. Couple that with awesome fight scenes and (at the time) groundbreaking visuals – and cast it correctly with decent actors, you have the recipe for a fun summer popcorn flick.

With the above being said, the lore and history of Mortal Kombat has grown exceptionally large since the 1995 film, so simplifying the story probably wouldn’t sit right with the current younger generation of fans, who’ve grown up on MK9, MKX, and MK11’s rich stories. I feel these fans will influence Warner Bros. much more than the “weathered” fans who’ve been with the franchise since the early 90s.

What exactly am I getting at? The 2010’s have shown that serial television shows are extremely popular and profitable. With the proper showrunners, some of these become masterpieces even. We’re truly in the golden age of serial television. Mortal Kombat absolutely needs to be a serial show.

I think Kevin Tancharoen had the right idea with Mortal Kombat: Legacy. I just think he was handcuffed by a lower budget and time restraints, but he was able to get the true spirit of Mortal Kombat and a lot of the lore and history down pat in basically 190 minutes of content. He mostly hit on a lot of his casting choices (namely in Season 2) as well. However, imagine 8-10 hours of content per season? With a budget much larger than Legacy’s? See where I’m getting at here?

I think Warner Bros. is missing something here. Why not have a Mortal Kombat serialized show be the crown jewel of their new WarnerMedia streaming service? Or if they were going for a more mature audience – throw it on HBO, one of their subsidiaries. I feel HBO might be a bit more of an adamDMK fantasy, but it’s still a viable option for Warner Bros. Unless it was a complete flop and utter failure, I feel a serialized show would be a more realistic long term money maker and revenue stream since movie adaptations of video games are still so hit or miss. I mean think of all the successful recent serialized shows and how they work so well as shows with hours of content as opposed to 100-minute movies. Cobra Kai? Mr. Robot? Stranger Things even?

This would also help not having to go all in on the movie – as the budget for a movie demands immediate returns to be profitable. With a serialized show, the first season can have a “lower budget” in relative terms, with a more focused plot and cast. Say the first season is just establishing your key characters, giving context to their backstories, and have it be based on the first Mortal Kombat game (or first part of MK9). If successful, the scope of show can increase over the next few seasons and additional characters, worlds, and plot threads can be introduced.

I completely understand this is just me talking out of my butt here, but like I said I have felt strongly about a Mortal Kombat serialized show for awhile now. Either way, cheers to James Wan and company putting together something fun for all of us varying Mortal Kombat fans.

Mortal Kombat 11 Datamine Uncovers New Voices From 1995 Movie Actors

Christopher Lambert provided a unique take on Raiden in the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie adaptation.
Christopher Lambert provided a unique take on Raiden in the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie adaptation.
Photo: IMDB

It’s hard to hide anything in your game when thousands of players can search through it with a fine-toothed comb. The folks at NetherRealm Studios found this out recently when one fan uncovered a variety of unused Mortal Kombat 11 audio files that sound as if they were recorded by the stars of the 1995 cult-classic movie based on the longstanding fighting game franchise.

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The audio files in question replace the voices of Raiden, Sonya Blade, and Johnny Cage with new ones that sound very similar to Christopher Lambert, Bridgette Wilson, and Linden Ashby, who played those respective characters in the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie.

While uploads of the voices have quickly been removed from YouTube and Twitter by parties claiming to represent Warner Bros., the link below will take you to a Reddit post in which original excavator, Ix, shows off what they discovered.

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These findings have ignited some excitement in the Mortal Kombat community. When a fighter’s voice was changed in the past, it usually arose from using a special skin that essentially turned them into someone else.

Jax Briggs, for instance, had a special costume in Mortal Kombat X that turned him into Carl Weathers, complete with dialogue recorded by the Predator star himself. And when Shang Tsung debuted in Mortal Kombat 11, he did so with motion-capture and voice acting by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who also played the character in the ‘90s movie.

I’m not a huge fan of Sonya or Johnny, but I would love to see Christopher Lambert’s take on Raiden given some love in Mortal Kombat 11. But hey, even if these voices aren’t ever officially released, at least players were able to peer into an alternate reality in which known asshole Ronda Rousey didn’t get to portray the series’ most prominent female character.

How Erica Lindbeck, Voice Of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s Jessie, Got Her Break

Less than a decade into her career, voice actor Erica Lindbeck has over 150 credits to her name. From her start as random background characters, she’s gone on to voice everyone from Barbie to Cassie Cage, Black Cat to Futaba Sakura. If you play video games, you’ve probably heard her voice.

In our fourth episode of “Behind The Voice,” we talk to Erica about how she came to voice acting and how she juggles so many roles. She tells us how this frantic pace has taken a physical toll on her, but she’s found a way to turn even that into a positive.

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You can connect with Erica on her new Twitch channel if you’re in the mood for some spooky stories. She’s kinda hilarious, too.

Supreme Is Releasing A Mortal Kombat Arcade Cabinet

Illustration for article titled Supreme Is Releasing A iMortal Kombat/i Arcade Cabinet
Image: Kotaku

I have seen Supreme collab on some real dumb shit in my time, from cookies to literal bricks, but this upcoming Mortal Kombat arcade cabinet is something else.

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The label showed off its Fall/Winter 2020 collection earlier this week, and among stuff like this:

Illustration for article titled Supreme Is Releasing A iMortal Kombat/i Arcade Cabinet
Image: Supreme

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Was this:

Illustration for article titled Supreme Is Releasing A iMortal Kombat/i Arcade Cabinet
Image: Supreme

Yup. It’s a Mortal Kombat arcade cabinet, including the first three games of the series. As PCMag point out, though, this isn’t a custom piece, it’s just a rebrand of an existing Mortal Kombat machine built and sold by Arcade1UP.

Illustration for article titled Supreme Is Releasing A iMortal Kombat/i Arcade Cabinet
Image: Arcade1UP

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The only difference here being the presence of Supreme logos all over the cabinet art and the inclusion of a Supreme-branded riser (which turns this sitting-height cabinet into a standing-height one).

The total cost of an Arcade1UP Mortal Kombat cabinet, with the riser added as an accessory (they’re normally sold separately), would be $360.

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Expect the Supreme one to sell (at least at resale, where they’ll all end up) for around the same, only with more zeroes at the end.

Evo Online Cancelled After Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Others Withdraw Over Abuse Allegations

Illustration for article titled Evo Online Cancelled After iStreet Fighter/i, iMortal Kombat/i, Others Withdraw Over Abuse Allegations
Screenshot: Capcom

Evo Online has been officially canceled following decisions by multiple developers to distance themselves from the event, Kotaku has learned. Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat 11, and more were pulled from Evo Online following allegations of sexual misconduct against the organization’s co-founder and CEO, Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar.

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Mortal Kombat 11 narrowly missed out on being part of the Evo 2020 lineup before the covid-19 pandemic forced the event to go online and shift to games with competent rollback netcode. As of June 30, 1,357 competitors had registered to compete in Mortal Kombat across Evo Online’s three regions.

“We stand in solidarity with those who have spoken out against abuse,” Mortal Kombat developer NetherRealm Studios’ official statement reads.

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Street Fighter V had the opposite journey. It was once a shoe-in for Evo 2020, but its longstanding reputation for having poorly optimized netcode made it anathema to the Evo Online experience. Still, the organizers were planning to hold exhibitions in the Capcom-developed fighter between the event’s main games.

“In light of the recent accusations of misconduct made against Evo organizer Joey Cuellar, Capcom will no longer be participating in Evo 2020,” the developer wrote. “Out of respect to those who have been affected and to the current investigation, we felt this was the appropriate course of action. We apologize to the players and fans who were looking forward to these tournaments.”

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Update (07/o2/2020, 8:30 p.m. ET): Them’s Fightin’ Herds has also been pulled by its developer, Mane6. Much like Mortal Kombat, the My Little Pony-inspired fighting game was included at Evo Online thanks to its use of rollback netcode.

“The current situation surrounding Evo organizer Joey Cuellar has created an environment that we feel uncomfortable being involved in, and we are unwilling to have [Them’s Fightin’ Herds] showcased on the Evo stage under the current circumstances,” Mane6 wrote.

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Update (07/o2/2020, 8:51 p.m. ET): Bandai Namco has joined the growing list of developers distancing themselves from Evo. This means the planned Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Soulcalibur VI exhibitions will no longer be part of the online event.

“Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. has decided to end our participation in Evo 2020 in response to recent abuse allegations,” the company’s statement reads. “We stand in solidarity with the individuals who have spoken out against abuse within the fighting game community and thank our fans for their continued support.”

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Update (07/o2/2020, 9:25 p.m. ET): Evo has released another statement, this time detailing its plans to replace Cuellar as CEO with fellow co-founder Tony “Ponder” Cannon and to cancel Evo Online entirely.

“Over the past 24 hours, in response to serious allegations recently made public on Twitter, we have made the first of a series of important decisions regarding the future of our company,” a spokesperson for Evo told Kotaku via email. “Effective immediately, Joey Cuellar will no longer be involved with Evo in any capacity. We are currently working towards his complete separation from the company and have relieved him of all his responsibilities.

“Going forward, Tony Cannon will act as CEO; in this position, he will take a leadership role in prioritizing greater accountability across Evo, both internally and at our events.

“Progress doesn’t happen overnight, or without the bravery of those who speak up against misconduct and injustice. We are shocked and saddened by these events, but we are listening and committed to making every change that will be necessary in making Evo a better model for the stronger, safer culture we all seek. As a result, we will be canceling Evo Online and will work to issue refunds for all players who chose to purchase a badge. We will donate the equivalent of the proceeds as promised to Project HOPE.”

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Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath’s Story Goes Pretty Much As Expected

One of these guys was voted “Most likely to betray everyone” in high school.
One of these guys was voted “Most likely to betray everyone” in high school.
Screenshot: Netherrealm Studios (Kotaku)

The new single-player story content in Mortal Kombat 11’s Aftermath expansion stars the treacherous sorcerer Shang Tsung. Having that backstabby, soul-stealing bastard front-and-center is a good sign that betrayal is going down at some point. It’s just a matter of when and how much.

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Eventually and bunches.

Out today for PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is a paid expansion that continues the single-player story from the initial release and adds a trio of new playable characters. Japanese wind god Fujin returns to the series, as does the four-armed Queen Sheeva, both playing key roles in the new story chapters. The third new character, Robert “Robocop” Cop, is a new guest character who sadly does not appear in the story. Along with the paid update, Netherrealm Studios also released a free update for all players that adds new items and equipment, brings back classic stage fatalities, and gives characters the means to end a fight on a positive note with warm-hearted Friendship fatalities.

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Illustration for article titled iMortal Kombat 11:/i iAftermath/i’s Story Goes Pretty Much As Expected
Screenshot: Netherrealm Studios

As a solo player who’d rather not compete online, I’m all about the new story expansion. Called “Part 2: Aftermath,” it picks up where the first part of the story left off. To set that up, we’re going to need to spoil a few things.

Illustration for article titled iMortal Kombat 11:/i iAftermath/i’s Story Goes Pretty Much As Expected

Mortal Kombat 11’s big boss is Kronika, the keeper of time, who seeks to use her vast power to erase the influence of thunder god Raiden from the timeline. In Klassic Towers mode any character can defeat Kronika and rewrite history as they see fit. In the story mode ending, which is Mortal Kombat canon, Raiden grants his power to Liu Kang, transforming him into the god of lightning and thunder. Fire god Liu Kang defeats Kronika and prepares to use her power to completely reshape history.

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The new chapter picks up where the old one left off, but as Liu Kang starts reshaping, a portal appears, spitting out wind god Fujin, spiritual warrior Nightwolf, and good old Shang Tsung. The trio, who were trapped by Kronika and freed upon her defeat, warn that Liu Kang cannot reshape history without Kronika’s Crown of Souls, which was destroyed during their final battle. If he tries without the crown, time will be destroyed forever. Fortunately, Shang Tsung has a plan.

Mr. Tsung offers to go back in time to steal Kronika’s crown from his own palace, at which point he’ll totally give it to the good guys and let them win. Nothing can go wrong with his plan.

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A few things go wrong with his plan. First off, Liu Kang doesn’t send the trio far back enough in time. Shang Tsung, Fujin, and Nightwolf appear in the middle of one of the original story’s huge set pieces, sneaking through the background of events that have already taken place. It’s very Back to the Future. Or Back to the Future II.

Love that cigar fake.
Gif: Netherrealm Studios (Kotaku)

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Due to Shang Tsung and friends’ meddling, events that occurred in the original story chapters begin to unfold differently. Alliances made in part one crumble apart in part two, leading to a very different version of the final confrontation. Players on both sides of the battle between good and evil get betrayed all to hell.

I don’t want to spoil too much about this entertaining little rewrite of recent Mortal Kombat history. It’s nice to see characters introduced as part of the game’s battle pass downloadable content—Sindel, Shang Tsung, and Nightwolf—getting to participate in the narrative. The story is as predictable as Shang Tsung’s relentless pursuit of personal power at any cost, but it’s still a fun ride.

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Such a sweet couple.
Such a sweet couple.
Screenshot: Netherrealm Studios (Kotaku)

The entire thing only lasts two and a half hours, depending on how good players are with Fujin, Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, and a handful of other characters. It’s the same formula as before. There are five chapters, numbered 13 through 17, each revolving around a character or pair of characters. The story plays out in lengthy cutscenes interspersed with standard Mortal Kombat 11 battles. During some chapters and at certain key moments the player can choose which character to play as. Once the story is over, completionists can use chapter select to go back and play with different choices.

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Heads roll, characters live, and characters die. When the grand prize in the tournament, as it were, is the ability to completely rewrite history, all sorts of gory stuff can happen with ultimately no consequence whatsoever. Mortal Kombat 11 was always going to be the end of the series’ current fiction and the beginning of something new. Aftermath just gives players a couple more hours of betrayal-packed drama to enjoy as we wait for the next reboot.

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