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Exclusive Mortal Kombat Spot, Plus Director/Producer Interviews!

Exclusive Mortal Kombat Spot, Plus Director/Producer Interviews!

Warner Bros. Pictures provided with an exclusive new TV spot from the highly-anticipated new Mortal Kombat movie. It features legendary actor Hiroyuki Sanada as Hanzo Hasashi/Scorpion from the 13-minute opening scene set in ancient Japan that we were able to watch before interviewing director Simon McQuoid and producer Todd Garner. Check out both the clip and the interviews below!

The fantastic opening sequence involves Hanzo experiencing a terrible tragedy at the hands of Joe Taslim’s Bi-Han/Sub-Zero before the two get into a gloriously bloody fight. Unlike a typical in-your-face video game movie, this opening played more akin to a deliberately paced classic chambara movie like The Hidden Fortress, The Samurai Trilogy, Harakiri or Sword of Doom. We asked Todd Garner about that serious, throwback tone, which he says was 100% deliberate.

“Thank you for noticing that,” Garner told us. “And also the fact that in the entire first 13  minutes of the movie, no one speaks English. What we’re saying to the audience is, ‘You’re not going to get spoon fed this.’ You’re not going to get Asian actors speaking English just for your benefit. You have to read, and you have to understand that, ‘Oh, that’s Japanese. Oh, that’s Chinese. Oh, they don’t understand each other. Oh my god, he’s in love. Oh, we just saw the most insane tragedy ever. Holy shit.’ You’re right. It’s very deliberately in that Kurosawa style. Every single fight in this movie has its own personality. It’s true to not only the game, but it’s true to the character. I can’t tell you who’s fighting but there’s one of the most brutal fights I’ve ever seen on film. It’s the most violent hand to hand insane fight, and it’s not who you would expect to have the fight. There’s also a beautiful operatic fight. There’s swordsmanship. Then you have a moment you’ve seen in the trailer where subzero freezes Scorpion’s blood and stabs him with it. Every fight has its own personality. It’s not that we’re aping necessarily particular movies, but being faithful to what does this fight want to be. We’re not just on a proscenium, like the game where it says ‘FIGHT’ and you watch characters. We’re saying, ‘What is the style of fighting that each of them has? What is the best set for this fight to happen on practically? And then what is the tactic and how should that be filmed?’ So each fight has its own has its own language.”

First-time feature helmer Simon McQuoid, who comes from the commercial realm, echoed Garner’s statement in saying that their approach was to truly adapt the underlying video game material and stay true to it while elevating it to the cinematic realm. That technique may be the secret sauce that helps Mortal Kombat break the “video game movies suck” curse.

“When you see the film, you can tell me whether I’ve got the secret sauce or not,” McQuoid responded. “People love the trailer, they’re liking what they’re seeing. People really like the first 12 minutes, which is fantastic because it doesn’t radically change from that point on. But that doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee. The things we all thought about in going into this was trying to look at what makes a good film. I think a lot of video game movies fail because they don’t respect the material enough. They think, ‘Well, this we can take out, now we can do what we like with it.’ There’s fundamentals that you cannot change. Because if you start changing those fundamentals, then you are you are messing with the recipe. I talked about respecting the material, respecting the fan base and also elevating what’s there. Respecting it, curating what goes in it, and then amplifying it to a new level that no one’s seen before. That’s the new part. The new part is how it’s stylistically brought to life. You don’t look at the video game to get your film structure. You just look at film. And so it was just a balancing act of those those two things. I don’t profess to have the secret sauce at all. Maybe if people like the film then maybe I can say, but I certainly can’t say now. But you know, so far, so good!”

RELATED: First Mortal Kombat Trailer Brings Beloved Game to Bloody Life!

In Mortal Kombat, MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage—or why Outworld’s Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family’s safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana—the immense power from within his soul—in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all?

The diverse international cast reflects the global nature of the brand, with talent spanning the worlds of film, television and martial arts. The ensemble includes Joe Taslim as Sub Zero; Ludi Lin as Liu Kang; Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade; Josh Lawson as Kano; Tadanobu Asano as Raiden; Mehcad Brooks as Jackson “Jax” Bridges; Chin Han as Shang Tsung; Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion; Max Huang as Kung Lao; Sisi Stringer as Mileena; and Lewis Tan.

Mortal Kombat is directed by Simon McQuoid in his feature debut. James Wan (The Conjuring universe, Aquaman) and Todd Garner (Into the Storm, Tag) are producing. Larry Kasanoff, E. Bennett Walsh, Michael Clear and Jeremy Stein are serving as executive producers.

RELATED: Mortal Kombat Teaser Becomes Most Viewed Red Band Trailer of All Time

Two Mortal Kombat movies were previously made. The first, simply titled Mortal Kombat, was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and was released in 1995. It was followed two years later with a sequel, Annihilation, which also paved the way for two television series: the animated Defenders of the Realm and the live-action Konquest. Two web series have been released based on the property as well from director Kevin Tancharoen.

Mortal Kombat is scheduled to be released in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service by Warner Bros. Pictures on April 16, 2021.

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