A new Mortal Kombat movie is headed to theaters and HBO Max, and the world will soon get to see if it lives up to the expectation of fans and lovers of the original film. It's hard to say what the bar is for success for this reboot to hit the mark, and that's thanks in part to the odd legacy this franchise has.
Whether we're talking about the game, the lore, or the classic 1995 movie, there's some strange stuff to talk about in regards to Mortal Kombat. Gear up for the movie by reviewing these lesser-known tidbits about the Mortal Kombat universe, and in the process, ensure your first viewing of the upcoming film is as "flawless" as can be.
Liu Kang And Kung Lao's Trainer Weaponized Farts And Puke
Liu Kang and Kung Lao are two of Mortal Kombat's main protagonists, and while on the surface they look like generic kung fu fighters with a completely normal background, that all goes out the door when you learn about their master Bo' Rai Cho. This character, who was formally introduced as their master in the game Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, has gained notoriety in Outworld for his ability to weaponize his farts and vomit.
It's about as gross and nonsensical as it sounds, but like it or not, this Mortal Kombat character is canon. I'll be honest I don't think he's the type of character we'll be seeing in the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie, though I'd be tickled pink to see a fighter who routinely farts in the midst of battle absolutely blowing people out as blood and guts spill everywhere. At least we got Liu Kang, and Kung Lao out of it, who I'm guessing can keep their digestion in check when the going gets tough.
There Is More Than One Sub-Zero
A hardcore fan of Mortal Kombat may know this, but a more casual fan could go their entire life without knowing that there are canonically two Sub-Zero characters in the universe. The first one, Bi-Han, was a combatant in the first Mortal Kombat but was killed by Scorpion. His brother, Kuai Liang, is also a Cryomancer and took up the mantle in honor of his brother, hoping to ultimately gain vengeance against Scorpion.
Here's where it gets a bit weirder, Bi-Han (OG Sub Zero) was resurrected in the Mortal Kombat universe but did not become Sub-Zero. Instead, he's known as Noob Saibot, which was originally a joke character whose name backward is that of the franchise creator, Tobias "Ed" Boon. Interestingly enough, the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie will feature Bi-Han as Sub-Zero, so it's worth watching to see where he ends up by the time the movie ends.
The Whole Franchise Was Originally Born From A Universal Soldier Video Game
Mortal Kombat has made insane amounts of money both in the video game market and at the box office, and it's all thanks to a slightly less successful franchise by the name of Universal Soldier. The story goes that the development team was tasked with creating a Jean Claude Van-Damme game adaption of Universal Soldier, but when critics panned the movie (via WhatCulture), Van-Damme backed out of the deal. The team was left with a game and no big name attached to it, so they decided to create their own characters.
The rest is history, and while there's no explicit confirmation, it's said the spirit of Jean Claude Van-Damme found his way into the franchise through Johnny Cage. For those that don't know, Cage is a Hollywood action star generally used for comic relief in Mortal Kombat and all too full of himself. If that parody is supposed to be Van-Damme, I can see why the actor made time for the Street Fighter movie when it came his way.
Mortal Kombat Is Largely Responsible For Video Game Rating Systems
Mortal Kombat's legacy in the world of video games is unparalleled, especially when considering the franchise influenced the way video games are rated across the board. Concerns about the game and its gratuitous violence inevitably led to the creation of the Electronic Software Rating Board (ESRB), which is a board that determines what video games will receive a rating. Ultimately, the rating is used as a quick way of making parents aware of all the things a game contains to let them decide whether it is right for their child.
With a reputation like that, there was a bit of irony in the fact that the 1995 movie was rated PG-13 to attract younger audiences. The decision-making and argument are sound, though the fact that Mortal Kombat led to a system that kept parents from unwittingly buying their children ultra-violent content immediately led to criticism from critics and audiences alike.
Steven Spielberg Was Supposed To Cameo In The Original Movie
Steven Spielberg is known as many things in Hollywood, but I think it's safe to say "Mortal Kombat fan" isn't one of his commonly known titles. It turns out the director is a fan of video games (via ScreenRant), and one of his favorite games in the '90s was Mortal Kombat.
If Steven Spielberg likes your franchise, it makes sense you'd try to get him in the movie. Spielberg was originally going to make a cameo in the 1995 movie as the director of Johnny Cage's movie but unfortunately had to pull out due to a scheduling conflict. The film made do with a lookalike that filled the same purpose, though it's hard to really look at it the same knowing Spielberg could've actually done it.
The Goro Animatronic Was Horrifically Difficult To Use
One of the most memorable parts of the 1995 Mortal Kombat is Goro, mostly because of the memorable impression a many-armed monster can have on people. It turns out the animatronic left quite an impression on set as well, in that it was a horrific pain in the ass to work with.
The animatronic took 16 puppeteers to animate, and according to Syfy, would break down so often that it actively halted production. This is probably why the Goro of the upcoming Mortal Kombat is going to be 100% CGI and probably still look better than the one from the 1995 version.
The Voice Of Scorpion Is Mortal Kombat's Creator
Ed Boon isn't just the mastermind behind Mortal Kombat, he's also the voice of one of its most iconic characters. Scorpion's "Get over here" is one of the most iconic lines of the franchise, perhaps second only to "Finish him."
Boon has voiced Scorpion throughout the course of the franchise, including the movies. With that said, it has not been said that Boon will be helping voice the character in the new Mortal Kombat, which may explain why the voice sounded slightly off in the trailer. I would be interested to know what role Boon had in the new movie and how the movie will fare without that iconic voice along for the ride.