10 behind-the-scenes facts about Mortal Kombat (2021)
Eight months after its theatrical release and HBO Max, 2021 Mortal combat has remained extremely popular. It has become the most viewed movie on the streaming platform that has had a date and date release, and constant rumors surround a sequel or whatever the next installment in the franchise is.
Much of the film’s success is due to its loyalty to the video game series it is based on, but the adaptation could have had a very different outcome. Between going too far on the violence, the cast’s adlibs, and the Easter Eggs that weren’t successful, there could have been so many variations on the new movie.
The sound team got creative with the Gore Sounds
More often than not, sound editors use sounds from a digital library, which is packed with thousands of files that would work well for almost any movie effects. However, Adrian Medhurst went above and beyond for the film. Medhurst is a sound designer, that is, someone who reproduces everyday sound effects.
Given that Mortal combat is full of unique transforming effects and, of course, death, in a behind-the-scenes clip Medhurst used things like wet gravel and celery to achieve the kind of highs he needed. He even used a bell pepper for the bran of Mileena (Sisi Stringer) dropping her jaw from the cavity and crunchiness of the vegetable.
Josh Lawson didn’t expect to draw attention to Kano
While there are plenty of reasons to love the movie, the depth of the characters isn’t its strong suit. However, Kano (Josh Lawson) was one of the movie’s biggest lessons, because his negative attitude, antihero actions, and hilarious lines were so entertaining.
However, Lawson explained that he was surprised by the response from fans to his portrayal of the character and that when he was on set he thought no one would notice him. Lawson said he was used to terrible reviews, but Kano is one of the Mortal combatthe best characters.
Josh Lawson also improvised a lot of one-liners.
Not only did the Australian actor pull off Kano’s performance – it’s hard to see anyone else as the character – but the dialogue probably wouldn’t have been as good if someone else had been cast no more. According to Lawson, director Simon McQuoid allowed a lot of improvisation.
The number of improvised Lawson lines is unknown, but it seems like a lot. The actor sort of comes from the comedy scene, as he has featured in Will Ferrell’s comedies. Countryside and Presenter 2: The Legend Continues. Ferrell’s benchmark improvisation skills must have rubbed off on the actor, as Lawson explains that no two scenes are the same.
A “grilled” Easter egg has been cut
There are tons of beautiful quotes in Mortal combat, whether it’s Kano mocking Kung Lao or the menacing monologues between Sub-Zero and Scorpion. However, the most memorable of all will always be those that come from the game. Enter the iconic “Get over here!” from Scorpio to the game’s claims of “flawless victory,” they’re all present in the 2021 film.
However, there is a beloved phrase from the game, which is when MK creator Dan Forden yells “warm” when an uppercut connects. Mortal combat screenwriter Greg Russo included the line in the script, but it was removed from the final version, likely out of fear that it was too squeaky.
Sub-Zero’s outfit weighed 33 pounds
Nowadays, there aren’t many practical outfits, especially not so heavy. Even most superhero costumes look extremely light so that actors and stuntmen can perform stunts. And in some cases, the combinations are fully CGI. The Avengers costumes in Avengers: Endgame when they traveled back in time, they were 100% computer generated.
However, Sub-Zero’s (Joe Taslim) outfit was almost like a throwback to how the ’90s movies were made, as the suit weighed 33 pounds. It’s a testament to the quality of a Taslim martial artist, being able to perform all those fights with that outfit that weighs him down so much.
Joe Taslim signed a contract for five films
Joe Taslim is a triple threat, because he’s so good at martial arts, stunts, and acting, that he completely eliminates the need for a double stuntman. When a studio gets the chance to work with them on a huge franchise, it’s best to lock them up for as long as possible. This is exactly what Warner Bros. did, because, according to Taslim, he signed a contract for five films.
No sequel has yet been announced, so this news inspires hope among fans. There are so many reasons why fans need a Mortal combat sequel, and while Sub-Zero was murdered, there could easily be a spinoff or prequel focusing on the character.
Simon McQuoid has banned any discussion of sequels on set
It’s not just the fans who want a sequel, but the cast as well. While it’s not clear how much they discussed it on set, it must have been enough for McQuoid to keep the cast from talking about it. According to RBC, the director did not allow any discussion of potential sequels during filming.
However, it has now been eight months since the film was released and the announcement of a sequel must be imminent. It has already been revealed that Warner Bros. was discussing ideas for follow-up, and with Mortal combat being the most viewed movie on HBO Max in 2021, it gives fans extra hope for a sequel.
Fatality sets made Lewis Tan sick
The uniquely created sound effects really make the film production original, but the practical sets deserve credit as well. There are obviously a lot of digital effects in the 2021 film, but unlike many blockbuster movies released today, there was also a surprising amount of virtually constructed sets, and that includes those from famous deaths.
But the gruesome sets were too much for Lewis Tan, who plays Cole Young. The actor remembers the time he accidentally stepped on the wrong set, which was a post-fatality set, and he colorfully explains that “it looked like someone had destroyed a buffet line,“and he had a stomach ache.
Lewis Tan may not have been in Mortal Kombat because he was almost cast as Shang-Chi
According to Tan, he came very close to being cast as the main character in Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings, and he was heartbroken when he got the call telling him he had been refused.
Being cast in a Marvel movie would have been a breakthrough for the actor, but luckily he was cast to play Cole Young soon after. Had he been cast in the MCU movie, it is highly unlikely that he would have starred in Mortal combat, as both came out around the same time and there were likely overlapping production schedules as well.
The film almost achieved an NC-17 rating
Mortal combat doesn’t hold back vulgar language or grotesque fatalities, and that’s a big part of why the movie is so satisfying, as the original 1995 film was rated PG. The 2021 reboot pushes the R rating as far as it can get, so much so that it almost achieved an NC-17 rating.
McQuoid notes with hilarity that he has “to NC-17 territory fairly quickly“, explaining that he wanted to adapt some things from the video game, but that it would have been impossible to keep the R rating. However, some of the deaths in the film are quite close …
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