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Media & Merchandise

Discussing Mortal Kombat in Movies, Television, New Media and Merchandising.
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Mick-LuciferPosted: 08/22/2015 02:19 AMStatus ::
Vault: Paul Anderson on Mortal Kombat and Film Adaptation

Perhaps more than any other genre of Hollywood adaptation; films based on video games have suffered from sub-standard appropriation, and awkward re-imaginings. Mortal Kombat may be considered one of the most successful to make the crossover, but as director Paul W. S. Anderson explained (in a 2004 commentary), even his 1995 hit involved an iterative process of deliberate alteration.

Mortal Kombat is celebrating the twentieth anniversary since its original theatrical release: August 18th, 1995! The shadow of its $100 million success looms large over the franchise, inspiring a cinematic universe flirtatious in-game references, nostalgic fandom and a new generation of filmmakers.

Anderson's words -- taken from a 2004 commentary for another of his many game-to-film projects: Resident Evil: Apocalypse -- remain prescient.

A new producer has brought the series a step closer to a theatrical return, but the future remains uncertain. Will filmmakers follow Anderson's advice, or the example of his less-than-faithful films? To date, rumors and independent adaptation have struggled to embrace the popular fiction of the video game franchise. Something Paul Anderson clearly grappled with, despite a self-professed fandom.

In an article by The Hollywood Reporter, series co-creator Ed Boon notes, "John [Tobias] and I had comments about the script because I remember at first, from our perspective, it was way too comical. Raiden was cracking jokes like a prankster, and I remember saying, "He's not a clown, he's a very serious character." We didn't write the script, but we read the script and we sent back comments."

In his commentary, Anderson credits strong test audience reaction for correcting the cardinal sin of coupling Scorpion and Sub-Zero as allies. We might infer this led to one of the films' many memorable moments, a reshoot the likely impetus for Shang Tsung declaring them, "slaves under my power!"

Reshoots clearly added a lot to the inexperienced Anderson's US directorial debut. "We added my favorite fights, which were the Scorpion fight with Johnny Cage and the Reptile fight with Liu Kang.," notes THR. Cinematic martial arts showdowns like these were vital to the film's credibility as a Mortal Kombat adaptation.

On Mortal we made, y'know, we made some deviations from the game. I mean, I think you have to - you can't just be totally slavish to the game... Because then there's no surprises in the movie, and you may as well stay at home and play the game. Ah, and also, what makes for a great video game - which, y'know, is an experience that can last a couple of days playing - doesn't necessarily make for a great ninety minutes in a theatre. So you do have to make changes, but I think it has to be, y'know, very careful changes that you made. Like, in Mortal Kombat, you know, in the original screenplay, Scorpion and Sub-Zero were friends. And, y'know, we tested that version of the movie, and boy did the audience let us know that in the game: they were enemies. And they hated them being friends in the movie. So, we went back and we reshot certain scenes and kinda put things right. And I've been very aware of that in all of the video game adaptations we've done since then. To be mindful of the world of the game, and the rules that are laid down."
- Paul Anderson. (Resident Evil: Apocalypse commentary, 2004)

We're celebrating 20 years of the Mortal Kombat movie! Register to share your own thoughts and find more stories in the Media & Merchandise forum! Follow, like & share more via @MK_Online, Facebook & YouTube.

SpacemanPosted: 08/22/2015 05:15 AMStatus ::


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RE: Vault: Paul Anderson on Mortal Kombat and Film Adaptation

Wow I finally understand Shang's line, "Scorpion and Sub Zero, deadliest of enemies, but slaves to my power." (or something like that.) I always thought they completely ignored them being enemies in the movie and by "deadliest of enemies" Shang was warning Lui Kang & crew not to fuck with them, not that Sub and Scorp were indeed each others deadliest enemy. Minor point that confused little kid me 20 years ago finally explained, lol.

MindStrikesPosted: 08/22/2015 01:48 PMStatus ::


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Visits::325
Nationality::Italy
RE: Vault: Paul Anderson on Mortal Kombat and Film Adaptation

Well there are reasons why most if not all movies based of video games fail so hard. MK1 was one of the few with maybe silent hill that were quite fun.

with that said, it might be better sticking to certain elements from a game. but who am i, i loved MK: konquest so its a matter of taste here.

DigitalVaporPosted: 08/23/2015 05:57 PMStatus ::


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RE: Vault: Paul Anderson on Mortal Kombat and Film Adaptation

And herein lies Anderson's ultimate folly. He believes that all gamers want to be surprised by the film version and therefore ruins the story. Unfortunately this is not always true. Some gamers would rather see their favorite story translated to film in order to give it more life and flesh it out more. Some, like myself are big fans of a game's storyline and want to share it with non-gamers they are close to. When a film fails to tell THAT story, the gamer is let down and the non-gamer is ill-informed and perhaps even turned off because the movie wasn't as great as the gamer hyped the story to be. All this because someone like Anderson just doesn't get it.

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MindStrikesPosted: 08/24/2015 09:36 AMStatus ::


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Visits::325
Nationality::Italy
RE: Vault: Paul Anderson on Mortal Kombat and Film Adaptation

DigitalVapor Wrote:
And herein lies Anderson's ultimate folly. He believes that all gamers want to be surprised by the film version and therefore ruins the story. Unfortunately this is not always true. Some gamers would rather see their favorite story translated to film in order to give it more life and flesh it out more. Some, like myself are big fans of a game's storyline and want to share it with non-gamers they are close to. When a film fails to tell THAT story, the gamer is let down and the non-gamer is ill-informed and perhaps even turned off because the movie wasn't as great as the gamer hyped the story to be. All this because someone like Anderson just doesn't get it.


It's a sad thing, it really is..

titanPosted: 08/24/2015 08:32 PMStatus ::


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Visits::152
Nationality::Brazil
RE: Vault: Paul Anderson on Mortal Kombat and Film Adaptation

" To be mindful of the world of the game, and the rules that are laid down."

Too bad Anderson didn't heard his own advice for the RE movies.

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