The cast of 1995's Mortal Kombat

Paul W.S. Anderson has become synonymous with big-budget sci-fi action flicks thanks to the Resident Evil franchise. But before Resident Evil, Anderson made his first foray into the video game genre with 1995’s Mortal Kombat. The original film did wonders for his directing career. Recently, the director looked back at the 1990s classic.

While the original Mortal Kombat may have received a tepid response from critics, it made $124.7 million at the box offie and became a cult classic over time. Eventually, the franchise began to wane as the reception for the sequel Annihilation was far worse. Comic Book interviewed original director Paul W.S. Anderson on the 1995 film after the trailer for the reboot dropped. He spoke on the film still resonating with him after two decades:

I genuinely love the source material and I've made sure that that love of the source material gets, gets kind of built into the fabric and the DNA of the movies I make. So hopefully, you know, the fans see that, and they know it. And I going all the way back to Mortal Kombat, the fans knew that that movie had been made by somebody who played and loved Mortal Kombat. Because you could see it, it was in the essence of the film.

With the Mortal Kombat reboot just weeks away from being released, Paul W.S. Anderson’s perspective on the 1995 original showed how much he appreciated its impact on his career. Knowing how much he enjoyed the games showed in the original film, even if he didn’t have today’s technology for cool special effects. His mission was to create a film that captured the essence and action of the games. And while the franchise didn't have staying power, Anderson’s work resulted in an animated series and more.

As Paul W.S. Anderson reminisces over the original Mortal Kombat, moviegoers have become increasingly excited about the reboot. On Feb. 18, the trailer dropped and caused a frenzy over certain characters popping up. But not everyone was impressed by the trailer as Mileena’s smile wasn’t what some fans wanted. With that said, the trailer did take the internet by storm as it became the most viewed red band trailer of all time. As the trailer took off, the film’s cast even was impressed by it given their reactions.

Hearing about Paul W.S. Anderson’s fondness for the Mortal Kombat games shed new light on the original Mortal Kombat. While some may hark on the film’s quality, its cult classic status should be a testament to the director’s vision. You can stream the original 1995 film on Vudu and Prime Video with the reboot will be released on Apr. 16 in theaters and HBO Max.

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