James Wan Is Producing a ‘Mortal Kombat’ Movie
Mortal Kombat has an odd history of adaptations — there was the 1995 film directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, followed by the sequel in 1997 and two short-lived TV series. In recent years, the classic video game found new live-action life via a web series, which was being used to hopefully launch a new film. That film never really got off the ground, but a new movie is being planned with one of our most prized studio directors on board to produce.
According to The Tracking Board, James Wan is producing a new Mortal Kombat film, which New Line Cinema is describing as a “departure from the mythology” with “darker, brutally real martial arts.” Sounds like someone has been watching The Raid.
The original video game series, launched in 1992, centered on a group of fighters from 18 different realms who are forced to fight one another in a deadly tournament. The series features a wide range of fighters, from supernatural characters like Scorpion and Raiden, to humans like fictional American action star Johnny Cage and military badass Sonya Blade. There have been almost 20 Mortal Kombat games since the original release.
A few years ago, stunt choreographer and director Kevin Tancharoen launched a Mortal Kombat web series, hoping to rally enough fan interest so he could direct a new film. But back in 2013, Tancharoen revealed that he wouldn’t be directing the film, and development stalled out.
The new film is being scripted by Mortal Kombat: Legacy writer Oren Uziel with Expendables scribe David Callaham. The story centers on “a seemingly harmless guy who realizes his potential when he finds himself caught in the middle of a cross-dimensional battle between the warriors of Earth and the monsters of Outworld.” The only way to survive and prevent the destruction of the world is to win the Mortal Kombat tournament, obviously.
Wan is best known for his horror films like Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring, but recently proved himself with bigger budget studio fare on Furious 7. The director is currently at work on The Conjuring: The Endfield Poltergeist, and has signed on to direct Aquaman for Warner Bros. Wan works really well within the system and finds a great balance between his vision and fulfilling studio requirements, making him a great choice to oversee a new Mortal Kombat film.