Australia will once again host the next round of theatrical battle as the tentatively titled Mortal Kombat 2 movie sequel confirms relocation to the state of Queensland. The announcement was made by New Line Cinema, Warner Bros Pictures, and Screen Queensland over the weekend.
The first installment was filmed and produced out of South Australia, but has been lured to the east coast by Screen Queensland’s Production Attraction Strategy, and incentives provided by the Queensland Government. The Location Offset scheme offers a 16.5% tax rebate on qualifying Australian spend, effectively reaching 30% upon approval from the Australian Government’s Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts.
An estimated injection of $68 million dollars in local spend, and creation of 560 local jobs, has been a major talking point for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's government, who have successfully lured many major Hollywood productions to the state of Queensland, including the 2018 James Wan directed Aquaman, and Marvel's Thor: Love and Thunder. Production will begin in June , filming at the Gold Coast's Village Roadshow Studios.
The film is once again a joint production by Atomic Monster & Broken Road, with Australian filmmaker James Wan returning with Michael Clear for Atomic Monster, with Todd Garner, E Bennet Walsh, and director Simon McQuoid. In a statement to media, Wan said, "Filming the first film in Australia was such a great experience, I’m thrilled that with the help of Screen Australia and Screen Queensland, we can show off the majestic locations of Queensland and work with the top-notch artistic talent based there."
It remains to be seen how the seachange will impact the final look of the film, with various iconic locations, including the realm of Outworld, finding their visual identity in South Australia for the first movie. Todd Garner notes, "“The state is proving to be a premier destination for filmmaking with state-of-the-art production facilities, stunning locations, and a highly skilled local workforce, making it the perfect location for this film."
[Related Article: Mortal Kombat Movie Enters Final Talks With Jade Actor]
Australian actors Jessica McNamee and josh Lawson are expected to reprise their roles as Sonya Blade and Kano, with New Zealand actor Karl Urban in talks to appear as Johnny Cage. The sequel is rumored to depict Shao Kahn's conquest of Edenia as new writer Jeremy Slater aims to explore the "weird universe" of MK, and presumably the antagonists of Outworld.
Describing Outworld in a review of the 2021 movie, MKO noted: "[Shang Tsung overlooks] a realm entirely comprised of barren Australian dirt. This slightly gloomy, color-tinted dirt is distinct from the sun-kissed dirt that surrounds storm god Raiden's desert temple. The underwhelming aesthetic choices seem to betray the film's modest budget and location shooting, and recall Annihilation more than any iconic reference from the games."
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