Choose your fighter. Hot on the heels of today’s Liu Kang casting news, The Hollywood Reporter says several actors have signed on for roles in the next “Mortal Kombat” movie being produced by James Wan and currently slated for a spring 2021 release.
A few hours after Chinese actor Ludi Lin— best known for roles in 2017’s “Power Rangers” reboot along with last fall’s “Aquaman”— was set to rip out some spines and pulverize brains alongside Joe Taslim of “The Raid” fame, THR now is adding to more names to the mix: Mehcad Brooks (“Supergirl,” “True Blood”), Tadanobu Asano (“Thor,” “Thor: Ragnarok”) and Sisi Stringer, who would be making her big-screen debut.
The reported castings are a sign that production isn’t far from moving full-steam ahead on the 2021 movie, the latest entry in a franchise that has had a murky history making a jump from an arcade machine to the big screen. According to THR, “New Line is aiming to have a diverse international cast so as to reflect the global nature of the franchise”—the newly-announced cast shows the company is serious about that goal.
THR states Brooks will take on the role of Jackson Briggs, “the Special Forces muscleman who is a mainstay in the video game franchise”; Asano is in talks to play Raiden; and Stringer will be Mileena, the vicious assassin.
The movie’s director, Simon McQuoid, is also a newcomer to Hollywood—up until now, he’s made a career directing commercials. The same goes for Greg Russo (not related to the “Avengers: Endgame” directors Joe and Anthony Russo) currently working on the movie’s script, along with penning a “Resident Evil” reboot that doesn’t currently have a release date.
Given the curse that videogame adaptations seem to have in translating success from the living room to the multiplex, we’ll be looking forward to how much excitement the first footage (admittedly still way down the road from now) generates, even in an age when audiences aren’t repelled by hard-R ultraviolence (See: “Deadpool”). It’s worth noting that the original “Mortal Kombat” film became the most successful video game adaptation when it came out in 1995, and it’s still in the top 10.
The next movie in the franchise is slated for a March 5, 2021 bow.