Mortal Kombat 2 Is Taking Another Big Step Forward By Bringing Back A Familiar Talent

Lewis Tan's Cole Young with fists raised in Mortal Kombat
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Hollywood took its first stabs at the Mortal Kombat franchise in 1995 and 1997, and last year brought the long-awaited Mortal Kombat reboot to both theaters and HBO Max subscribers. This third stab earned better critical reception than its predecessors, and at the beginning of the year, WB officially greenlit Mortal Kombat 2. Today brings word that the sequel has taken another big step forward by bringing back the director.

Simon McQuoid, who made his feature-length directorial debut on Mortal Kombat, will take the helming reins once more for Mortal Kombat 2. Per Deadline’s report, one of the “first orders of business” with putting the sequel together was sitting McQuoid back in the director’s chair. This update follows the news from January that The Umbrella Academy’s Jeremy Slater is writing the Mortal Kombat 2 screenplay, taking over the duties carried out by Greg Russo and Dave Callaham on the first movie.

More than a decade after plans to make a third Mortal Kombat movie set in the original film series fell through, Warner Bros. started development on the reboot, and Simon McQuoid, who’d primarily directed commercials, was tapped to direct in 2016. Cut to April 2021, Mortal Kombat opened #1 at the box office and remains one of HBO Max’s top-performing feature titles. In addition to Mortal Kombat 2, McQuoid has a number of other projects in the works, including a sci-fi thriller called Omega for Sony.

The Mortal Kombat reboot followed Lewis Tan’s Cole Young, a washed-up MMA fighter who learned about his true heritage while being hunted down by Joe Taslim’s Sub-Zero, and went on to join an elite group of fighters preparing for a tournament to protect the Earthrealm from invasion from the forces of Outworld. Mortal Kombat’s other principal players included Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Josh Lawson as Kano, Mehcad Brooks as Jax Briggs, Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Max Huang as Kung Lao, Tadanobu Asano as Raiden, Chin Han as Shang Tsung and Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion.

Aside from Mortal Kombat 2 expected to finally feature the actual fighting tournament, no specific plot details have been revealed to the public yet. Back in May, Jeremy Slater said that the script was halfway complete, and that the goal with the sequel is to take everything that worked in the first movie and “do it even better and give the audience even more, and make something that is just incredibly satisfying, and really exciting, and unpredictable.” Mortal Kombat also teased the arrival of fan-favorite Johnny Cage, and on that subject, Slater said he’s looking to deliver the “definitive version” of the character

Now that Simon McQuoid is resuming his directing duties for Mortal Kombat 2, hopefully this means updates on the sequel will be more frequent, including learning about the new cast members and when filming will begin. Until then, keep track of what’s on the cinematic horizon with our 2022 release schedule and 2023 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.