The movie reboot of the popular video game, Mortal Kombat is known for its gory and bloody action. But you already knew that. Ever since the trailer dropped, we knew one thing was clear – it was going to be true to its original form.
It was only right for the creators of the movie to make it so since the video game is known for its visual imagery of blood splatters and decapitations galore. But this idea was hard to sell to Warner Bros. who was bankrolling the movie.
In an interview with Polygon, producers, James Wan and Todd Garner pushed hard for the movie to get an R rating. “Basically, there were five things James and I said – you might call them demands, you might call them really polite asks”.
“One, it’s got to be R-rated. Two, it’s got to be a diverse cast. Three, they’ve got to be [legitimate] to the lore and backstory, and each character. Four, they need to be real martial artists. Five is we’re gonna do these [specific] characters.”
Thankfully, Warner Bros. was willing to take the risk to make this movie come to life. According to Garner, it was primarily because of the potential for the movie that made Warner felt more confident to allow the R-rating on the movie.
Garner prioritised for the movie to have an R-rating. He felt that movies that have been altered to make the movie PG-13 are “sucky to make”. It did not sit right with him that a movie called Mortal Kombat, which the video game has seen every morbid monstrosity ever, be rated as PG-13.
With the second condition for Warner Bros., the producers felt that a white actor being cast as the hero in an Asian-led cast did not fit. So they cast Chinese-English actor Lewis Tan as the new original character, Cole Young.
“It just felt weird all of a sudden, to have like, ‘Oh, by the way, the white guy is going to come in and kind of be the hero of the movie.'” said Garner.
This article was first published in Geek Culture.