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After a year of movie delays, blockbusters are finally starting to be released. Warner Bros. has been putting out its new movies in both theaters and HBO Max simultaneously, including Simon McQuoid’s Mortal Kombat. The video game adaptation was a grisly R-rated romp, although the filmmaker recently clarified comments about the project getting slapped with the rare NC-17.
Ahead of its release, there was a ton of hype around Mortal Kombat’s R-rating. This allowed the movie’s violence and language to live up to its source material, but there were also some rumors about NC-17 going around the internet. Filmmaker Simon McQuoid recently spoke to this, saying:
Well, there you have it. Mortal Kombat was never shooting for an NC-17 rating, but Simon McQuoid makes it clear they could have pushed a bit farther if that was the goal. R was definitely a great choice for the movie, one that allowed the generations of fans to finally witness fatalities in live-action.
Simon McQuoid’s comments to Uproxx help to peel back the curtain on what it was really like working on Mortal Kombat. There was a ton of pressure in adapting the video game for film, especially given how poorly the genre has historically done. McQuoid’s movie was clearly crafted by fans of the franchise, which is why the rating was so important.
Mortal Kombat is available for a limited time on HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
Giving Mortal Kombat an R-rated movie helped the project feel more accurate to the video games, even if characters and plot lines were changed up. Audiences were ultimately watching for the fight sequences and those certainly didn’t disappoint. But it’s unclear if we’ll be getting a sequel from Simon McQuoid and company.
The end of Mortal Kombat definitely set up some sequels. For starters, the titular tournament didn’t actually occur throughout the first movie. Add in the tease of Johnny Cage and Sub-Zero’s possible return as Noob Saibot, and there’s a ton of narrative threads to pull from. But with the movie's unique pronged release, it's unclear how Warner Bros. will measure the success of Mortal Kombat.
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Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.