The video game genre is still one that seems to get little respect in Hollywood. While studios are certainly willing to adapt popular games into films, the translation rarely feels entirely true to the source material. The right names and characters may appear, but frequently you get the feeling that the filmmakers don't really love the games the movie is based on, and feel that a lot will need to be changed for it all to "work" as a movie. But the director of the new Mortal Kombat movie hopes that, if nothing else, fans of the video game franchise see that the upcoming movie was made with a great deal of respect for the games that inspired it-- especially in the music.
The first Mortal Kombat movie is viewed, almost by default, as one of the better video game adaptations made for the screen. But clearly director Simon McQuoid wanted to do even more for the new film. While speaking to CinemaBlend during a set visit while the movie was still shooting, the director explained that from the beginning their was a focus from the filmmakers on respecting both the franchise that the movie was based-- plus fans of that franchise. It was something that was quite important to both himself and the film's composer. McQuoid explained,
One of the things we’ve been talking about all through development is, the word I use a lot is respect. For the fans and respect for the characters and respect for the canon of the game. So that the execution ultimately takes that into consideration from an absolute sort of bedrock. Really listening to and understanding the fans and understanding a broader audience. Ben [Wallfisch] came in knowing that.
The Mortal Kombat franchise has been around for decades and has millions of fans. And while the core game may simply be about two people beating the hell out of each other, there's clearly something that resonates with so many. In the past we've seen movies based on games that did little more than borrow the name of the game and the characters, which certainly shows a lack of respect for the audience. But the director wanted to be sure that, if nothing else, it was clear to the audience that the people making the movie cared about the thing they were making.
And that care extended all the way to the movie's score. Simon McQuoid went on to talk about how the score was inspired by the music from the video game series. Fans will likely recognize the movie's music as composer Ben Wallfisch built it out of the music from the game. And that demo track must have worked pretty well, as Simon McQuoid has also said that he used the music to help recruit the cast. McQuoid continued,
We started talking about respecting the fans and he said, you know, ‘Do you think there’s anything we can do with the distinct music?’ And I said ‘Oh yeah, through this whole process we are taking material that is well known and we are elevating it. We are taking it seriously, very seriously, doesn’t mean that there’s not comedy and levity throughout the film. But we are taking everything very seriously and we are really considering it and making sure that it’s really thought through.’ He said ‘Well, I think it’ll work and I’ve done a demo track. Do you want to hear it?
Not everything about Mortal Kombat the new movie is going to match perfectly with the game people know. Some characters look different than they do in the game, and some popular characters from the games don't appear in the film. Fans will have to wait slightly longer than expected to see just how the movie has turned out. Mortal Kombat recently had its release date pushed back a week to give Godzilla vs. Kong a bit more breathing room.