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Mortal Kombat Aims to Embrace Weird Universe in Movie Sequel
Writer discusses script progress in new interview.

At the start of the year we learned Jeremy Slater has joined development of a sequel to last year's Mortal Kombat film reboot. The Moon Knight writer has offered an update on the new script, learning lessons from the first movie, and the "weird universe" it's based on.

Slater spoke to The Direct, revealing work on the sequel script is about "halfway through". Although no details were shared about the follow-up plot, the writer notes that he's working closely with the director, studio, and NetherRealm Studios, to "take everything that worked in the first one and do it even better and give the audience even more" for a "satisfying" and "unpredictable" sequel.

The first film surprised die hard fans by eschewing the tournament plot of the original game, introducing a pre-emptive strike on created-for-the-movie chosen one: Cole Young (Lewis Tan). The very loose adaptation proved divisive, and Slater notes the filmmakers have reviewed their work, "... I think they definitely learned some lessons the last time around in terms of, ‘Here’s the stuff fans responded to, and here’s what people liked out of the movie, and here’s the stuff that didn’t work out as well as we hoped.' "

A cliffhanger at the end of the first installment sets up the anticipated arrival of Johnny Cage, but that won't mean a more grounded adventure. Referencing to his recent success with Marvel's Disney+ streaming service, Slater rules out an "MCU" tone, but adds "We have guys who are ripping off their faces and breathing fire—it’s a weird universe, let's embrace some of that weirdness..." Read the full remarks below:

It’s really fun so far. We’re about halfway through the script. I’m working really closely with the director and the studios, and the game guys, and I think—I can’t say anything about the actual story, but I think they definitely learned some lessons the last time around in terms of, ‘Here’s the stuff fans responded to, and here’s what people liked out of the movie, and here’s the stuff that didn’t work out as well as we hoped.' So we’re really looking at this as a chance to take everything that worked in the first one and do it even better and give the audience even more, and make something that is just incredibly satisfying, and really exciting, and unpredictable."

"I don’t think it’s necessarily going to have the same tone as the MCU, but it’s definitely going to have some of my sensibilities. That was part of my pitch to them. This is Mortal Kombat. We have guys who are ripping off their faces and breathing fire—it’s a weird universe, let's embrace some of that weirdness, and let’s make a Mortal Kombat sequel that no one is expecting and that can kind of sneak in and blow everyone away. We’re still really early in that process, but I’m having a blast with this script.”

Marvel was a reference point for producers overseeing the film, and with HBO Max still touting its massive success, it's easy to see the franchise potential for the fighting game franchise -- celebrating its thirtieth anniversary later this year.

Disney has successfully been able to separate Marvel Studios from the decades sprawling comic book multiverse of Marvel Comics, but with Mortal Kombat starting so far removed from the celebrated storytelling of the eleven game series, the most surprising way to give moviegoers something they don't expect may be a more faithful adaptation.

[Related Article: Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot]

What kind of weirdness do you hope to see in a Mortal Kombat sequel? What would you like to see return from the first film? Share your thoughts in the comments below and find & discuss more stories in the Media & Merchandise forum.

MK30: The Trials of Digitizing Raiden & His Hat
Capturing a thunder god's image isn't easy!

Series co-creator Ed Boon has continued to thrill with excerpts of the filming process from the first Mortal Kombat. The game that started it all celebrates its 30th Anniversary later this year, which means its already been that long since Raiden created a unique challenge! Watch:

Master of motion Carlos Pesina is captured in this excerpt from filming sessions, which shows capturing the image of a thunder god is no easy feat! John Tobias is charged with adjusting Raiden's iconic hat as it jostles out of position in the throes of dealing and receiving Mortal Kombat's deadly moves.

Recounting the scene to micro-blogging service Twitter, Ed Boon notes: "Over the 2 days we filmed Carlos as Raiden, his hat fell off countless times. To this day, I’m shocked we used only a rubber band to keep it on. WTF were we thinking? Carlos was a great sport during all this, especially while performing “knocked down” motions."

Adjusting the hat once Pesina was knocked down meant corrected frames could be stitched into the end of animation, but for a "kip up" hop to resume standing - the hat could not be secured. Necessity being the mother of all invention, this was the moment that inspired Raiden's electrically charged teleport -- an intuitive use of his godly nature to skip straight to stance.

Mortal Kombat has always been economic with its use of assets and Boon elabortes, "We liked that solution (and effect) so much that we ended up giving Raiden a (now iconic) teleport move using the same animation."

We can also witness the moment disaster strikes when a flip ends with Carlos Pesina crashing down on the conical hat. It's a story recounted in 'character card' vignettes included with Mortal Kombat: Deception. The hat was repaired and reused throughout the two day shoot.

What are your memories of Raiden's debut appearance? Share your thoughts in the comments below and discover more stories in the 2D Kombat Klassics forum -- including the creation of Scorpion's spear and Sub-Zero's stance!

Mortal Kombat 30th Anniversary
10/08/2022 12:00 AM EDT
Mortal Kombat Still Biggest HBO Max Premier One Year Later
MK celebrates anniversary on top.

It's been a full year since the simultaneous streaming & theatrical release of Mortal Kombat -- and the video game adaptation continues to set the pace for WarnerMedia Discovery service HBO Max. Newly released figures put it ahead of blockbuster franchise rivals who've challenged over the past twelve months, including a major new release.

Samba TV has tracked estimated viewership for HBO Max since launch, and a breakdown from the third-party analyst puts Mortal Kombat roughly 200,000 households ahead of The Batman after their respective first week streaming. Check out the full stats for major releases below:

Mortal Kombat has been a standard bearer for HBO Max ever since its record weekend release, and a sequel is already in development, but the impressive feat of outpacing the Batman mega-franchise at home is slightly undercut by overall combined United States viewership.

The Batman opened in wide release at the start of March, taking a massive $134 million dollars at the domestic box office, versus MK's pandemic compromised $22.5 million theatrical open. The Batman's delayed streaming release shows no sign of denting home viewership numbers, while also benefitting from any subscription growth.

If correct, the streaming estimates also tell us about the power of first week viewing, and Mortal Kombat's pace during dropoff over the following ten days. MK, Godzilla vs Kong, and The Suicide Squad all gained 1.2 million viewers in that post-release window, while Zack Snyder's Justice League added 1 million, and Wonder Woman 1984 .7 million.

[Related Article: Review: Mortal Kombat Hacks Into Franchise Reboot]

Teasers for the next installment have already begun, and speculation remains rife around where the films will go next, and who will play the eagerly anticipated role of Johnny Cage. Join the discussion about these topics and more in the Media & Merchandise forum!

Mortal Kombat 11 Patch Adds Microsoft Play Anywhere Support
One game - two platforms!

This week marks the third anniversary for Mortal Kombat 11, and although additional development for the game has officially ended: the top selling title still has one more surprise in store for Xbox and PC players!

NetherRealm Studios quietly announced a new patch that will add support for Microsoft Play Anywhere, meaning one purchase can be played across both Xbox Series consoles and PC! Good news for masters of multitasking and crossplatform remoteplay.

MK11 was released right around this time in 2019, becoming one of the most successful installments in the franchise with over 12 million units sold! The game enjoyed the longest downloadable content cycles of any NetherRealm release, and brought back fan favourite characters in a time bending tale that included Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath -- the first ever DLC story mode!

A new game is now in development, but with the 30th Anniversary of the first Mortal Kombat coming later this year, fans continue to enjoy MK11, as well as other old favourites across various generations.

[Related Article: Ed Boon Teases Next Project Will 'Make Sense']

Are you still playing on Xbox and PC? Share your experience with the Play Anywhere initiative in the comments below and dig in deeper with MK Online Fight Klub and the Mortal Kombat 11 forum.

Leaked Photo Reveals First Look at Johnny Cage in MK Movie Sequel
Secret sequel shoot confirmed!

Edit (April 2nd): Is this a joke? You bet it is! Video game movies might play it fast and loose but we weren't fooling anybody with this hastily assembled cinematic April Fool! Fans of 1973 British horror film The Wicker Man spotted this fake from a mile-off, but did you identify all six tricks? Make your boast in the comments below, and have more fun revisiting classic MK April Fool pranks!

A follow-up to the most recent Mortal Kombat feature film was on the cards as soon as it was released, and with a franchise anniversary looming later this year, it seems the hotly anticipated sequel has already begun shooting in secret. Warning - the following post contains spoilers:

The leaked image appears to confirm the overdue arrival of Johnny Cage alongside returning heroes Liu Kang (Ludi Lin) and Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee). The dramatic desert scene also appears to confirm a return to the South Australian filming location, but it's difficult to tell if the sandy desert will double Outworld, Earthrealm, or somewhere in between.

Earthrealm's leading defenders -- made famous in the original Mortal Kombat video game and its 1995 feature adaptation -- can be seen approaching a small group surrounding a large, four-armed wooden effigy. An unidentified Shokan warrior, possibly Kintaro, stands to the left of the ritualistic structure (right on-screen), with another dark ninja-style figure drawing the attention of the heroes on the opposite side.

Prince Goro was killed by Cole Young (Lewis Tan) in one of the most controversial sequences of the 2021 franchise starter. It could be him standing inside the structure, possibly as part of a revenge or resurrection ritual.

The image sadly doesn't clarify who has been cast in the coveted role of Cage, who was shockingly relegated to a teaser at the end of the 2021 film, and became the subject of extensive fan speculation. WWE wrestler Mike "The Miz" Mizanin, action star Alain Moussi, and even Ryan Reynolds have all commented on the role, but the low resolution profile gives few clues.

Bi-Han (Joe Taslim) is expected to return as the blackened wraith Noob Saibot, but under scrutiny the ninja-like figure appears to wear a beak-like plague mask. A motif familiar to Jeremy Slater -- writer for Marvel's Moon Knight who joined MK2 earlier this year.

[Related Article: Mortal Kombat Producer on Johnny Cage & Rain Omissions]

Leaked via a since-deleted post to Reddit by "Aquilluxborg", an account created in December 2020; the image carries a similar Warner Bros production watermark to previously leaked footage from the unreleased third MK webseries.

Can you identify the mysteryman playing Johnny Cage? Share your theories in the comments below and tell us what you'd like to see in the Mortal Kombat movie sequel. Find and discuss more stories in the Media & Merchandise forum.

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