film Mortal Kombat movie first look photos Simon McQuoid Cole Young Lewis Tan HBO Max

Entertainment Weekly has released the first photos of first-time director Simon McQuoid’s Mortal Kombat movie, which will release in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16. Everything from the outfits to the settings looks roughly as cheesy as it did in the original 1995 Mortal Kombat movie, and the plot details revealed will likewise not blow anyone’s minds. But the good news is the original movie was great fun, and there’s no reason this movie can’t be as well — especially since it’s definitely going to be R-rated and is going all in with martial arts actors, gore, and fatalities.

The Mortal Kombat movie will begin with a scene set in the past, illustrating the blood feud between the clans of the characters who will become Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) and Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada). Fans of the franchise will probably be able to guess how that will go. Following that though, it seems the main character of the movie will actually be an original character, Cole Young, played by Lewis Tan. He has a birthmark on his chest that is, uh, the Mortal Kombat symbol for some reason, and several other characters have it as well.

When Shang Tsung sends Sub-Zero to hunt down Cole, Cole ends up on path that finds him meeting many other characters from the franchise, like Major Jackson “Jax” Briggs (Mehcad Brooks), Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano), Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), Kung Lao (Max Huang), and Kano (Josh Lawson). They are all training (Kano is apparently with the good guys? Maybe?) “for a high-stakes tournament to defeat the invading enemies from Outerworld.”

Simon McQuoid has explained that he jokingly told stunt coordinator Kyle Gardiner to craft “the best fight sequences ever done in a movie ever,” and the fight scenes apparently received the most positive feedback in test screenings — so that’s a good sign, assuming every other part of theĀ Mortal Kombat movie wasn’t scored abysmally. Additionally, McQuoid emphasized that “there is gore, blood, and fatalities.” He called the fatalities “crazy” and that “a couple iconic ones” were selected for inclusion.

Let us know what you think of the Mortal Kombat movie now that we’ve finally seen and heard more about it. Also, yes, we’re aware that Jax looks like Steve Harvey in that photo.

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John Friscia
Head Copy Editor for Enthusiast Gaming, Managing Editor at The Escapist. I'm a writer who loves Super Nintendo and Japanese role-playing games to an impractical degree. I really miss living in South Korea. And I'm developing the game Boss Saga!

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