Even by the standards of video games, ‘Mortal Kombat’ has had kind of a weird history in Hollywood. The classic one-on-one gore fest first jumped to the big screen in 1995, under the stewardship of Paul W. S. Anderson. The film was a box office success, and though not a classic by any means, it remains one of the better video game adaptations, if only by virtue of how well it captured the feel of the series’ lore (even if it did tone down the violence). It was followed two years later by ‘Mortal Kombat: Annihilation’, which was… less successful. In every sense of the word. The planned sequel was cancelled and the film franchise would be dormant until the 2011 debut of Kevin Tancharoen‘s short-lived web series ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy‘.
Since ‘Legacy’ came to an end, there’s been clear interest on the studio’s part in rebooting the property, though that interest has translated into very little in the way of tangible progress. Perhaps the biggest news was the announcement in 2015 that James Wan had been tapped to produce. Of course, Wan has kept himself fairly busy since then, directing both ‘The Conjuring 2’ and the upcoming ‘Aquaman‘ in addition to writing and producing half a dozen other films.
With that being the case, there’d been little in the way of news until Wan took to Twitter this summer to debunk a number of rumors that had surfaced online. Essentially, the news was that there was no news. But now that ‘Aquaman’ is mere weeks away from release, Wan’s might have a little more room in his schedule. And with the director making the rounds to promote ‘Aquaman’, Nathaniel Brail of Heroic Hollywood took the opportunity to ask for an update on ‘Mortal Kombat’. Here’s what Wan had to say:
“That has been such a tricky one just trying to get the script to a point. People don’t know this, fans don’t understand this, but there’s just so much on the business side of things… to try and get the right budget for it, and we want to make sure we have enough resources and the budget to do the film right. If I can’t get the right resources and find the right filmmaker for it, I don’t want to do it, and I’m so busy already. I don’t need to clutter my plate with more stuff if I don’t believe it can be done right.”
As they say, “no news is good news.” While there remains little in the way of tangible progress (at least as far as can be discussed publicly), Wan is still attached to the project. That in itself is reassuring, in that the film has neither been cancelled nor suffered any obvious setbacks on the production side. More encouraging than that, though, is Wan’s focus on making sure that when the movie is done, it’s done right. After twenty years, fans deserve a ‘Mortal Kombat’ film worthy of the name.
For updates on ‘Mortal Kombat’ as they become available, be sure check in with ScienceFiction.com!