We are about a month away from the release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Mortal Kombat. The game that shook the video game industry back in 1995 will finally be back as a feature film. Earlier today we looked at a statement from producer James Wan about why now was the right time for this film. We also mentioned that it took them seven years to finally get it to us. So what took so long? Could it be the list of demands that WB wasn’t ready to accept?
LRM Online participated in round table interviews with Mortal Kombat’s director, Simon McQuoid. As well as the producer, Todd Garner. During our conversation with Garner, we learned about the five demands or asks that they made to the studio seven years ago. Demands that at the time may have been difficult for them to accept. But in all that time between then and now, a lot has changed in the film industry. Let’s take a look at what they were asking for and how some of these things seem like no-brainers in 2021.
Garner said, “Basically, there were five things (…) you might call them demands. You might call them really polite asks. We said, there are five things that are really important to us in this movie. One it’s gotta be R-rated. Two is it’s gotta be a diverse cast. Three is they’ve gotta be legitimacy to the lore and the backstory of each character. Four is they need to be real martial artists. Five is we’re going to do these characters. We’re not going to have any movie stars and they went cool. Seven years later, we got the movie.”
Garner goes on to talk about how their demands for Mortal Kombat become easier to comply with as other films paved the way for diverse characters and marketable R-rated films. “ In the meantime, luckily movies like Crazy Rich Asians came along and Black Panther. These movies had a diverse cast that murdered around the world and made hundreds of millions of dollars and Warner brothers said, ‘yeah, go do it.’”
ALSO SEE: MORTAL KOMBAT PRODUCER TODD GARNER ON THE FILM’S FATALITIES
“Movies like Deadpool and John Wick that were R-rated made a couple four or 500 million bucks. So in a weird way, the world caught up to something that James and I were talking about seven years ago” Continued Garner.
The producer also goes into further detail about why the R-rating was so important for Mortal Kombat. Stating that different films require different ratings. That forcing films to a rating tier that doesn’t fit their franchise does a disservice to the film.
“I’ve been in the movie business for 30 years. I’ve made a couple of hundred movies as an executive or as a producer. And I’ve just seen when you’re shoehorning something into the PG 13, that shouldn’t be, and it sucks. It’s just, it just sucks to make, it’s no fun people see through it. It’s such a money grab when it deserves it. I mean Marvel is for everybody, they’re and they’re at the Walt Disney company. So they’re already pushing the limit of that rating. But for something called Mortal Kombat, which the game has people ripping each other’s spines out. Very tough to go.” Said Garner.
A diverse cast? An R-rating? Like we mentioned above these do seem like very simple asks, but were they seven years ago? It will be interesting to see how well this film does compare to some of the other successful R-rated films. Although with theaters not at full capacity or even closed, it may be hard to get a clear consensus on how the film does. For me in California, could this be the first film I see in an indoor theater? That is a question for another day! Although this would be a lot of fun to see on the big screen. If not HBO Max it is!
What do you think of the asks of the creative team for Mortal Kombat? Let us know in the comments below!
Warner Bros. Pictures’ Mortal Kombat will hit theaters and HBO Max on April 16th, 2021.