With eleven games over three decades and almost a hundred kombatants under their belt, the Mortal Kombat universe is ripe for adaptation. It’s been on a real hot streak lately too, with the last two titles Mortal Kombat X and Mortal Kombat 11 both mega-hits and the new movie rapidly becoming a smash-hit. As such, Warner Bros is starting to realize that Ed Boon and John Tobias’ goofy magic ninjas kung fu universe might be a gold mine.
As such, our sources – the same ones that told us Affleck would be back as Batman and that a Green Lantern show was in development – are saying WB executives now see Mortal Kombat as the potential bedrock of a new cinematic universe akin to the MCU.
Further films already seem inevitable, with our heroes beginning the search for new champions for a Mortal Kombat tournament proper. Scrotum-pummelling movie star Johnny Cage seems like a lock and writer Greg Russo has hinted that he wants to explore Liu Kang’s Shaolin monks and Sonya and Jax’s special forces team.
But it’s easy to imagine Warner Bros capitalizing on the success by delaying a full Mortal Kombat 2 in favor of a series of solo movies starring various characters. This MCU-style take would give some of the lesser fighters time to breathe. For example, I’d love to see movies focusing on Kano recovering from getting a garden gnome shoved in his head and getting cybernetically enhanced, Sub Zero being transformed into Noob Saibot, or even a prequel showing us the ancient conflict between Scorpion and the Lin Kuei teased in the prologue.
For all that, I’m skeptical that Mortal Kombat could ever be as big as the MCU. The main thing stopping it is that Mortal Kombat is destined to remain rated R – it just wouldn’t be the same without those no-holds-barred fatalities. The flipside is that the lower budgets and lack of expensive stars mean you can position Mortal Kombat movies more like a horror franchise than a superhero blockbuster.
Let’s hope we get some confirmation soon. In the meantime, if there are any Mortal Kombat characters you want to get their own spin-offs sound off below.