Sub-Zero. Scorpion. Sonya Blade. If you grew up in the 1990s -- and happen to have a particular penchant for animated violence -- then you most certainly know a thing or two about these names and the Mortal Kombat franchise. The series experienced moderate success on the silver screen two decades ago, and fans have waited for a full-blown reboot ever since. Horror icon and Aquaman director James Wan has found himself attached to a long-awaited Mortal Kombat reboot for the last year, and he has finally come forward to explain why the film has taken so long to develop.
Although the Mortal Kombat reboot remains in development hell for now, James Wan recently spoke to IGN at a TCA event to provide a much-needed update on the project -- as well as why it might take some time to materialize. He said:
It's still cooking away. With that particular project, that's a really cool property that I loved growing up as a kid. Besides the game, even the movies as well, I kind of enjoyed them for what they are. The key here is to try and do it right. I don't want to rush into it. So right now, we're just trying to take our time to make sure it's heading in the right direction. I think that's more important than trying to rush through it and pump up something that no one likes.
So it sounds as though the creative forces behind the Mortal Kombat reboot want to make sure that they get it right before pressing forward and entering production. The Mortal Kombat series has become a household name over the course of the last two decades, so it's not like the studio needs to rush development in order to make the film's release coincide with a tie-in game. In this case, quality seems far more important than timeliness.
James Wan would go on to describe his vision for the Mortal Kombat reboot by referring to it as an update of Bruce Lee's martial arts classic Enter The Dragon combined with fantasy and magic elements. If you've played the Mortal Kombat series, then you already know that's a perfect recipe for success -- as long as we get plenty of insane finishing moves and buckets of blood.
If the Mortal Kombat reboot does eventually come to fruition, it will mark the first time that the video game series has received a proper feature film adaptation in more than two decades. In our opinion, that's far too long. As far as video game movie franchises go, Mortal Kombat represents something of an outlier. The MK movies never received the sort of mainstream success enjoyed by the first Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, but the series also developed a cult following that made it far more beloved than something like Super Mario Bros. Even at its corniest moments, it still endeared fans and developed a strong legacy.
With such a rabid, loyal fan base, as well as a consistent stream of solid Mortal Kombat video games over the last few years, a properly executed reboot could make a serious impression on audiences. We trust you, Mr. Wan, so please get this right; we don't care how long it takes.