News Archive - July, 2018
MK Online Stream to Host Movie Star Q&A Friday
Mortal Kombat movie stars join stream for fan Q&A and prizes!

The tradition of Fight Night returns to Mortal Kombat Online next week when the MK Online Stream Team welcomes a special guest line-up to Twitch! The stars of the now-klassic Mortal Kombat movie will take part in a live Q&A; you'll be able to stream right here on Friday, August 3rd! Read on for details of prize giveaways & how you can get involved:

Watch the Friday stream live right here on Mortal Kombat Online!

Robin Shou (Liu Kang), Linden Ashby (Johnny Cage), Keith Cooke (Reptile), and guest of honor Chris Casamassa (Scorpion) will be broadcasting live with FatalKade & ]{0MBAT, and special guest host moviedude18 at a scheduled start of 10:00PM EST!

The fondly remembered cast of the original MK feature film are in Anaheim for Casamassa's Business Kombat live event. The Bully Proof Fitness author is revealing the secrets of Red Dragon Karate to a select group of attending school owners. MK Online Users won't miss out, with the celebrity guests beaming right to you in the player embedded above!

Registered users have until Friday morning to submit questions to the actors via the forum! MK Online will select questions to be answered during the show -- with every entry going into a draw to win a signed photograph!

Additional prizes will be given away during the live stream! All you have to do to get involved is be watching right here on MK Online and log on to Twitch Chat or Discord on Friday, August 3rd! Catch up on past fan streams by watching archives on Twitch and YouTube. Find and discuss more in the Media & Merchandise forum!

Kombat Kon Date Announced: October 27, 2018
Third annual fan event announces Fall date

For the past several years, Galloping Ghost Arcade has sponsored Mortal Kombat-related events involving the actors from the classic titles, and this year is no exception! Today, the Kombat Kon Website has been updated with the release date of October 27, 2018 - mark your calendars!

As usual, attendees can expect a meet and greet with the actors, photo ops, signed photos, cosplay, tournaments, and more! And, everyone is encouraged to bring their own MK memorabilia to get signed by the cast as well.

The preliminary guest list has been announced as follows...

  • Chris Alexander (Johnny Cage MK Trilogy)
  • John Parrish (Jax)
  • Liz Malecki (Sonya)
  • Daniel Pesina (Johnny Cage and all the male ninjas)
  • Phillip Ahn (Shang Tsung)
  • Tony Marquez (Kung Lao)
  • Brian Glynn (Shao Kahn)
  • Rich Divizio (Baraka, Kano, Quan Chi, and Kabal)
  • Sal Divita (Nightwolf, Sektor, Cyrax, Smoke)
  • John Turk (Shang Tsung and all the male ninjas)
  • More to come...

Tickets should be available for purchase soon through the Kombat Kon website. The standard tickets are $25, and the VIP tickets are $60 (which gives the ticketholder extended hours and access to the after-party).

In conjunction with Kombat Kon, we at Mortal Kombat Online are also in the early stages of planning a special community event for our own members for the night before - Friday, October 26th! Join us as we celeberate our upcoming 20th anniversary! This will be your chance to meet and chat with MKO staff members and others from the MKO Community. We'll also be conducting a special stream that Friday as we look back at our site's history of covering the Mortal Kombat franchise. Details on how to register will be forthcoming. Space may be limited.

SDCC: Paris Jackson Cosplays Sonya at Comic-Con
Celeb attends SDCC in game accurate Sonya cosplay.

Model and musician Paris Jackson brought a touch of Mortal Kombat to San Diego Comic-Con this week, attending the event in full costume as Sonya Blade! She shared photos of her outfit via Twitter and Instagram accounts. Click thumbnails to enlarge below:

The costume recreates Sonya's updated design from Mortal Kombat (2011), with military green vest, pants, black gloves, and sidearm -- just like the game! Fans learned of her famous father's MK fandom when author Paul Theroux shared fond memories in 2009.

[Related Article: Mortal Kombat X: Official Cage Family Trailer]

Singer Zayn Malik took inspiration from Sonya's Special Forces partner, Jax, combining fashion with metallic arm coverings while attending the 2016 Meta Gala. Official cosplay models were part of Mortal Kombat promotion in 2011 [full story].

Register to vote for Sonya Blade in the 2018 Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion character tournament! Share your thoughts about celeb cosplay on the Mortal Kombat (2011) forum! Got cosplay? Submit your pics to the MK Online fan submission archive!

Review: Injustice vs. Masters of the Universe #1
Injustice 2 crosses over with He-Man universe.

The very first crossover comic between Injustice: Gods Among Us and another franchise is here! Issue 1 was released as a digital chapter yesterday [purchase] with a print edition to follow shortly.

Featuring the writing of Tim Seeley, art by Freddie E. Williams II, coloring by Jeremy Colwell, and lettering by Wes Abbott, the first of this six-part miniseries sets the tone for the crossover chaos to come!

The story begins with a brief intro narrated by Zodac, hurtling alone through outer space. Through his exposition, we are introduced to this particular incarnation of Eternia. Interestingly, this series takes place in the aftermath of a He-Man/Thundercats crossover event, where it turns out that the evil robot impostor Faker has been posing as He-Man and ruling in his stead. On the DC side, this series takes place in the aftermath Injustice 2, following Superman’s ending, where he has destroyed Brainiac and appropriated his tech to turn Batman into a mindless servant.

After He-Man and the forces of good on Eternia conclude their battle, Batman (from the alternate universe) and members of the resistance arrive on the scene! In true comic book crossover form, heroes from both sides fight each other before realizing they’re on the same side. When Mossman and Swamp Thing used their telepathic link with plants to communicate with each other, it wasn’t long before they convinced their respective teammates to stand down. Batman explains that the team’s purpose in coming to Eternia was to enlist He-Man’s help against the tyrannical Superman. So, off they go!

Superman, it is revealed, has been collecting magical artifacts (magic being one of his few weaknesses) to ensure that they cannot be used against him. And, unbeknownst to our heroes, he has already enlisted the help of Skeletor—what type of force the Man of Steel used to compel his aid is left to the reader’s imagination. The first issue concludes by going back to Zodac, who has come face to face with Darkseid and his forces from Apokolips.

A read like this is a bit more involved than, say, the self-contained Mortal Kombat X comics (see our review here). To truly understand all the events going on, it requires a working knowledge of the events depicted in the Story Mode of the Injustice games as well as other contemporary crossover comics.

In some instances, the comic raises more questions than it answers. For example, He-Man’s mother (Queen Marlena) spent some time on Earth, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Was this the same Earth that is now under a tyrannical Superman’s control? The parallel Earth that Batman and Green Arrow are from? A different Earth altogether? To be fair, this is just the first issue, and there are five more to answer questions such as this!

In the long run, it will be interesting to see if any of the events that occur in this series will have an impact on future story developments. Since this series follows up to a Thundercats crossover, it seems reasonable that future He-Man adventures may make reference to this series. Of bigger concern to this audience will be if anything here affects the Injustice franchise. Could He-Man debut as a future guest character in Injustice 2? Could this comic be required reading to fully understand the events depicted in Injustice 3, when that is eventually released?

One other thing worth noting: The digital format appears more or less the same as the print book. This is a departure from the regular Injustice comics, in which the digital version is specially formatted for a widescreen reading.

[Related Article: DC Announces Injustice vs He-Man]

Being the first crossover between Injustice and another franchise, it opens the door to a lot of possibilities! Perhaps if this is successful, others may follow suit.

What types of things would you like to see in this series? What character battles are you looking forward to the most? What other Injustice crossovers would you like to see, going forward? Register and share your thoughts on the DC Universe Injustice forum!

Lost Kontent: Tobias Shares MKvDC Comic Art & MK4 Reptile
Series co-creator John Tobias shares character sketches & more!

Digitized live-action graphics defined Mortal Kombat in its seminal incarnation, but many of the series' most iconic characters began life as design sketches by franchise co-creator John Tobias!

This weekend Tobias will discuss klassic digitized characters at San Diego Comic-Con [full story], but the talented artist also recently shared a mix of MK drawings from more recent eras! These include character sketches of Reptile and Liu Kang, as well as uncolored pencils from the official Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe comic book!

The prodigal son made his much publicized return to Mortal Kombat in 2008, drawing the heroes and villains of colliding worlds for the Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe Kollector's Edition. The comic book ended a nine year hiatus from his co-creation, which Tobias and Boon discussed in a promotional featurette.

The images shared via Twitter (@therealsaibot) show uncolored interior pencils of Superman slugging Sub-Zero in the Fortress of Solitude, and Shang Tsung standing amongst the Tarkatan hordes of Outworld. On the finished page, Tsung and his minions are facing off with Wonder Woman and an army of Amazon Warriors.

A character sketch of Liu Kang drawn "a few years ago" was also shared to Instagram (@therealsaibotoo), showing the Shaolin warrior monk in his belted MKvsDC design. Speaking to his creation's origins, Tobias adds, "we should all take a hero’s journey".

The comic, with writing credit to John Vogel, elaborated on the story of Dark Kahn: a living fusion of Shao Kahn and Darkseid, whose worlds began to overlap. Though brief in pages, it also featured cameos by Goro, Johnny Cage, Aquaman, and Robin, explaining their absence from the game through cosmic disappearance.

A sketch of Reptile as he appeared in Mortal Kombat 4 rounds out the black and white offerings [below]. Though divisive among fans, the design is memorable for advancing Reptile beyond the green palette sawp of his prior, digitized appearances. It emphasized his true reptilian nature, with exposed scaly skin, and mouth of fangs.

The drawings are a wonderful peak inside John Tobias' portfolio, which occasionally expands to include new Mortal Kombat pieces. It's the perfect prelude to this weekend's Digitized! Comic-Con panel!

Enjoyed this trip down memory lane? Tell us all about it! Register to discuss MK4 in the 3D Kombat Klassics forum, or MKvsDC in the DC Universe Injustice forum! You can also submit your own artwork to the MK Online Fan Submission archive!

John Tobias to Feature on Comic-Con Digitized Graphics Panel
Retrospective panel to revist digitized graphics with MK co-creator!

Legendary Mortal Kombat co-creator John Tobias will be in California this weekend for 2018 San Diego Comic-Con International! He'll be part of a live panel discussion about the tech behind the arcarde trilogy, which fans can attend Sunday, July 22nd. Read on for details and what you can expect:

Warren Davis (designer/programmer of Q*bert) discusses the development and evolution of WTARG, the video digitization system he created that allowed for live actors' images to be used in most of Williams/Bally/Midway's arcade games of the 1990s, includingMortal Kombat, NBA Jam, Terminator 2, and Revolution X (featuring Aerosmith). Warren, John Tobias (co-creator Mortal Kombat), and Mark Turmell (creator of the NBA Jam series) will guide you through this golden age of game innovation through stories, photos, and videos.

Digitized! The Graphics of Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, T2, and More will feature programmer Warren Davis, whose role in creating the WTARG digitization system was vital to the creation of Mortal Kombat, and helped define a generation of games released by Midway Games, and their partners.

The panel is scheduled to take place Sunday from 11:00am to 12:00 in the Grand 9 Ballroom of the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. The bay hotel is a seven minute walk from the San Diego Convention Center.

[Related Article: In Konversation: Mortal Kombat Online vs John Tobias - Part 1]

Planning to attend the con? Register to tell us all about it on the 2D Kombat Klassics forum! Help boost the signal by liking & sharing this story via Twitter and Facebook<.

Ed Boon Avatar Change Sparks MK/DC Fan Speculation
Fan theories run rampant over Scorpion/Batman avatar.

An avatar change isn't usually considered news, but when there's a vacuum of reliable Mortal Kombat information, and you're franchise figurehead Ed Boon, your slightest tweak inspires special significance for 367,000 rabid followers!

As the 25th year of Mortal Kombat draws toward an end; Boon made the switch from a celebratory anniversary dragon logo [pictured below left], to something reflecting the two major franchises he oversees with NetherRealm Studios: Scorpion from Mortal Kombat X, and Batman of the DC Comics Injustice stable!

More accurately - the Batman on display appears to be Ben Affleck, who starred in divisive DC Extended Universe films: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. The latter inspired cross-promotional character skins for Injustice 2, released late last November.

Though interesting as a representative choice; Boon has never hidden his long time DC fandom, or interest in the live-action films! He noted Affleck's casting in 2013, got excited about the newest Batmobile in 2014, and was enthusiastic when a solo film was announced in 2016.

In the past: Boon has used social media dressing to tease new projects and disc pressings, but fan theories about a second crossover game may be premature. When asked about a Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe sequel, the developer shot it down with a simple answer: "no". The explanation for the change, all together more simple than that:

Like the stylemakers of Hollywood and Paris; Boon is always likely to influence followers, and generate plenty of discussion when he debuts a new Twitter look. He's usually pretty straight with fans when he shoots something down, recently targeting false Mortal Kombat movie reports.

Boon discussed the friction between what's expected of the MK and DC franchises back in 2012. He deemed a crossover sequel "not likely" as recently as 2016 [full story]. Instead, NetherRealm has found success with downloadable guest appearances by Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Raiden in the Injustice game franchise.

The cryptic significance of his latest choice will no doubt linger in the minds and speculation of fans, at least until a new game is announced. The NetherRealm head has already ruled out any announcements at this month's San Diego Comic-Con International.

[Related Article: Editorial: The MKvsDC Crossover Nobody Sees Coming]

What do you think about a future Mortal Kombat/Injustice crossover? Register to share your thoughts on the Future MK Games and DC Injustice forums! Support MK Online by liking & sharing in depth stories via Twitter and Facebook.

James Wan & Ed Boon Rebuff False Movie Reports
United front shoots down unverified reports about movie reboot.

Fandom reacted strongly to recent widespread rumors about the Mortal Kombat movie reboot, and its reported cast of characters. The outcry has drawn an equally strong response from those close to the project, with producer James Wan, and NetherRealm Creative Head Ed Boon, shooting down various reports.

The godfather figures join writer Greg Russo, who was quick to contextualize a leaked list of characters, shooting down controversial changes to Sonya & Raiden, among others.

As previously reported by MK Online; Broken Road Productions' Todd Garner also called news from the film "premature". Like Wan, he clarified "[n]othing is happening with the movie at this time". The film is currently listed on the Broken Road website as in pre-production.

Although the notorious character list appears to have been rooted in fact, based upon early drafts of the script -- some sites have also been reporting unsubstantiated rumors about location scouting, and filming in Chicago. These claims were specifically targeted as false by Wan.

At a 2016 Television Critics Event, the Furious 7 and Aquaman director stated an intent to take care: "The key here is to try and do it right. I don't want to rush into it. So right now, we're just trying to take our time to make sure it's heading in the right direction. I think that's more important than trying to rush through it and pump up something that no one likes." News of his role as Producer broke in August, 2015.

[Related Article: Oren Uziel Discusses Mortal Kombat Movie Script]

What are your hopes for a new Mortal Kombat movie? Register to tell us all about it on the Media & Merchandise forum! Support the kommunity by liking & sharing detailed articles via @MK_Online and Facebook!

MK Movie Writer Kills Raiden & Sonya Rumors
Writer Sonya & Raiden Jr cut from Mortal Kombat rewrites.

Greg Russo is a writer currently tackling the next Mortal Kombat big screen reboot, but after a list of characters leaked, he's also been writing his fair share of rumor killing tweets!

The writer already addressed widespread rumors, shooting down their validity based on generations of the rewritten script, and inaccuracies in the original report. In his latest message to fans, Russo targeted two of the worrisome character changes since excised by the creative process.

Raiden's portrayal in live-action has been varied. He was memorably defined by Christophe Lambert, whose sarcastic overseer guided Earthrealm's heroes through the 1995 feature film. This wisecracking thunder god was bound by rules, usually limited to threats of his godlike power. James Remar infamously leapt into kombat with a mid-movie makeover in Annihilation, before Jeffrey Meek explored Lambert-esque layers of comedy and gravitas, in the Mortal Kombat: Conquest television series.

Raiden was said to relinquish his godly powers to participate in mortal fighting from the very first game. The '95 film introduced Raiden to the big screen disguised as a beggar, which may have inspired the now excised concept of assuming the guise of a 14 year old boy.

Kevin Tancharoen infamously cast Ryan Robbins as the thunder god for the sixth episode of the Mortal Kombat: Legacy webseries. The episode began with a disclaimer, warning fans about the "realistic" portrayal of Raiden as a patient in a mental asylum.

Sonya Blade was thrust into the first game's plot as a US Special Forces agent on the hunt for Kano. Bridgette Wilson-Sampras arrived at the '95 movie tournament very much as it was portrayed in the game, and comic book by Mortal Kombat co-creator John Tobias.

Sonya's reported role as a prophecy-seeking writer has similarly been cut, but wouldn't be the first time the character was changed. The Legacy webseries retained the basics of Sonya's well known plot for its opening episode(s), but recast Jeri Ryan, and Michael Jai White (Jax), as metropolitan police officers from a fictional city.

Sonya Blade as she appears in Mortal Kombat X.

Though the character list was clearly rooted in fact, Russo has already shot down other mistakes in detail, such as Liu Kang as a "ninja", and the absence of Sub-Zero and Scorpion. The message remains one of assurance to die hard fans. The inclusion of a Mortal Kombat II fatality a clear gesture.

What do you hope to see from Raiden and Sonya in a new movie? Register to voice your opinions on the Media & Merchandise forum! Support the kommunity by liking & sharing detailed reports via Twitter and Facebook.

Writer Greg Russo Responds to MK Movie Character Rumors
Writer disputes details of reported character list.

Reports of a rumored character list for the next Mortal Kombat movie have had everybody talking, but the most important voice may be Greg Russo's.

The writer of the film took to Twitter to respond to concerns raised by the leaked information, clarifying that the list was based on an earlier version of the script, and only partially accurate.

Russo also addressed concerns and errors found in the original report, specifically mocking the listing of Jax as "Jackson Bridges" (instead of Briggs), and the description of Shaolin fighting monk Liu Kang as a "ninja".

Details inconsistent with the established characters were a natural point of contention for die hard fans, but they may be artefacts from the writer of the original article, or the "telephone game" of second-hand information. Russo cast further doubt on the information's veracity: "I have no idea where those descriptions came from... but certainly not from anyone involved in the project."

Despite the mistaken details, the list wasn't completely without merit, even if rooted in redundant information: "They got some stuff right and whiffed on most of it." Some characters described have since been excised from the script, while a prominent icon like Sub-Zero -- who was missing from the report -- will be "kicking all sorts of (frozen) ass."

On the inclusion of more obscure fighters from the series, the writer adds: "It's a tricky thing. Because you don't just want to throw characters in for no reason. Everyone has to have to have a reason and a moment to shine. (read: kick ass)".

Familiarity and arcade credentials are a big part of Greg Russo's damage control mesage to fans. It's no guarantee the final product will appease dyed in the wool fandom, and moviegoers alike, but it comes as timely reminder that films go through many stages before reaching the big screen.

Mortal Kombat is currently in pre-production, with James Wan's Atomic Monster Productions and Todd Garner & Jeremy Stein (Broken Road) producing. Lawrence Kasanoff (Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation) will executive produce. Simon McQuoid is expected to make his feature directorial debut. There is no release date as yet.

[Related Article: From Sprite to Screen: How Mortal Kombat Invaded Hollywood]

What do you hope to see from a finished Mortal Kombat movie reboot? Register to voice your hopes, dreams & concerns on the Media & Merchandise forum. Special thanks to MK Online User Detox for posting about this follow-up. Help spread the word by liking & sharing this story via Twitter and Facebook.

Rumor Mill: Mortal Kombat Movie Reboot Stars New Character?
Reports new character will lead MK movie reboot.

A Mortal Kombat theatrical reboot has been in the works for much of the last decade, but the most recent phase only began in 2015, with news James Wan was attached to produce.

A first-time director soon followed, but substantial information has been scarce in the eighteen months since, leading to a smattering of conflicting rumors, misinformation, and unsubstantiated reports.

That Hashtag Show claims uncredited exclusive information from a new script by confirmed writer Greg Russo, who is also working on several other video game related projects, including: a Resident Evil reboot, and F.E.A.R. adaptation for Warner Digital's Machinima channel.

The story centers around a list of characters led by "Cole Turner" -- a Philadelphia boxer, and father, reportedly created to lead the movie.

If true: the new invention may be conceived as an entry point character, who will discover the Mortal Kombat universe as surrogate for the audience. With just a hint of Rocky to inform the concept, he may also provide the film a meaningful lead character to kill for a more bloodthirsty adaptation.

Cole Turner
Lead Male. 30s. A brand new character to the MK franchise. Cole is a struggling and widowed boxer who cares more about his young daughter than anything. He is incredibly determined and refuses to quit in the face of fantastical adversity.

This Cole Turner presumably has no relation to the character Julian McMahon played for several years on TV's Charmed. The reported full character list boasts some surprising inclusions that will please hardcore fans, such as Drahmin, Nitara, and Reiko, but notable alterations to iconic fighters will be less well received.

The pursuit of the tournament's "prophecy" recasts Sonya Blade as a brainy writer, Raiden as a 14 year old boy named Jin, Jax Briggs as "Jackson Bridges" - a mercenary who loses his hands, Liu Kang as a "ninja warrior" whose brother Kung Lao is mute, and Kabal as an Outworld assassin.

The rumors have a whiff of inauthenticity, but deviations like these from Mortal Kombat's established plotlines have been consistent through every iteration of live-action adaptation. Even Paul W. Anderson's lauded 1995 film wrestled with established canon, restoring popular aspects, such as the iconic rivalry between Scorpion and Sub-Zero, only after test screenings. The mascot pairing are notably absent from the published list.

Prior to his exit from the project in 2013; webseries director Kevin Tancharoen laughed off rumors his version of the movie would feature Liu Kang as a supermarket clerk. His vision for Mortal Kombat: Legacy never the less went out of its way to radically alter iconic characters, and the world of the game. Liu Kang was a violent sociopath recruited by Shang Tsung when he eventually appeared in the second season.

James Wan professed his appreciation for the classic Mortal Kombat characters while commenting on a need to "get it right", and explaining measured efforts, at a 2016 television event. What that means for a final adaptation remains to be seen.

Update: Todd Garner, Head of Broken Road Productions, who presently list Mortal Kombat as in pre-production on their website, noted via Twitter that any news is premature. While not a denial about the direction of the Russo script, it highlights the fluid process that movie development frequently goes through.

Contemporary pop culture is dominated by proven brands, with Hollywood especially fond of loose adaptations, and nostalgic reboots. Mortal Kombat boasts a bit of both, with added potential to time the release of a new game with a feature film. Like Warner Brothers' efforts with DC Comics: the biggest hurdle to MK's success may simply lie in delivering an adaptation that embraces what made the series a success in the first place. Spielberg's Ready Player One provided a proof of concept earlier in the year, giving audiences a taste with authentic Mortal Kombat X cameos.

[Related Article: Retrospective: The Mortal Kombat Cinematic Universe]

What do you think of the rumored character list? Is it a multi-hit combo, or just another fatality? Register to discuss the good and the bad of adaptations on the Media & Merchandise forum! Share this story with friends by liking & sharing via @MK_Online and Facebook.

User Poll
What's Next?
Mortal Kombat 12
Injustice 3
Mortal Kombat spin-off