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.