One of the first video games to gain attention for its (then) stunning amount of violence was the first MORTAL KOMBAT in 1992, as bloody finishing moves delighted players and terrified everyone else. The movie adaptations didn’t do the best job illustrating that violence and showing off clever fatalities, but now the new movie from Warner Bros. is going to let the obliterations, gutting, smashing, decapitating and disembowelments fly as the writer assured fans the movie will be aiming for that R rating.
Screenwriter Greg Russo took to Twitter (via /Film) yesterday to share the news about their plans for a gleefully bloody movie, writing, “Since it’s already been stated by other members of the team, I’m gonna put this one to bed. [Mortal Kombat] WILL be R-Rated and for the first time EVER, FATALITIES will FINALLY be on the big screen (and no I’m not gonna say which ones) You’ll just have to wait for the movie & see!!”
The previous movie adaptations, MORTAL KOMBAT and MORTAL KOMBAT: ANNIHILATION, both went for PG-13 ratings, no doubt to get the kids into the movie theaters for mostly bloodless fights. But now studios are starting to embrace the R-rating more for major properties after the success of comic book movies LOGAN and DEADPOOL (and despite the people behind this year’s HELLBOY relying on it too much). Russo is writing the script with James Wan producing, and Wan himself is no stranger to the R-rating with horror movies like SAW and THE CONJURING.
With that in mind, there’s no guarantee that an R-rating will ensure big business and fan approval, but violence has always been a cornerstone of the games. To no surprise, violence has become a staple of all kinds of games in the 27 years since the first Kombat game – including shooters, other fighting games, survival horror, etc. – but the fighting series has made gruesome, clever fatalities a major reason to come back and play again and again. Seeing those come to life will be a major reason to bring fans to theaters, on top of being how the movie can stand apart from other video game movies, most of which settle with a PG-13 rating. Who knows, maybe after this DETECTIVE PIKACHU will get into some hardcore Pokemon battles.
Simon McQuoid is directing and Joe Taslim was recently cast as Sub-Zero, and as of right now MORTAL KOMBAT is set for a 2021 release date.