In a world of increasingly traded and converging intellectual properties few things are sacred, but as The Matrix prepares for resurrection, Keanu Reeves still believes in keeping some realities separate. The star was asked about his iconic characters crossing over with Mortal Kombat in a recent Q&A. Watch and learn:
The actor tackled popular facts and fiction about his career in an "Explain This" interview with Esquire. He was asked everything from marital status to casting sliding doors, but it's the prospects for his iconic characters appearing in Mortal Kombat that got a thoughtful, but decisive rejection.
Fans have been dying for Neo or John Wick to appear in a Mortal Kombat game. [Laughs]. If it were up to you, would you allow it to happen?
If it was up to me: no. Mortal Kombat is awesome - in so many ways - but I think, y'know... Neo, John Wick. Yeah, man. They're doing their own thing. Mortal Kombat's doing their own thing.
The idea of Neo entering Mortal Kombat was seriously considered when the fighting game franchise was rebooted under new parent company, Warner Brothers, a decade ago.
Creative Director Ed Boon revealed the Matrix crossover submitted during development, but the team ultimately realised "horror characters tend to lend themselves to it". The 2011 reboot game instead featured horror slasher Freddy Krueger, and PlayStation exclusive Kratos.
Multimedia guest characters continue to be a high selling cottage industry unto themselves, but also remain controversial amongst die hard fans, who, like Reeves, have a healthy respect for characters and projects that are "doing their own thing". That may not stop Warner Brothers finding ways to commodify their blockbuster property, though.
MultiVersus will take the pop culture megamix of WB's Space Jam: A New Legacy and Ready Player One a step further, consolidating WB cartoon and pop properties in a Super Smash Bros style platform fighting game coming 2022.
Neither The Matrix nor Mortal Kombat have been confirmed for the upcoming brawler, but the inclusion of a Game of Thrones character has thrown the door wide open to speculation that traditionally adult brands may get a kid-friendly makeover on their way to battling Steven Universe and Adventure Time characters.
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The 2011 video game that could've featured Neo is enjoying a revival thanks to newly added Xbox backwards compatibility. Would you have liked to see Neo or John Wick in kombat? Where we go from here is a choice I leave to you. Share your thoughts in the comments below, or discuss the infinite possibilities for the series' next step in the Future MK forum.