For decades, fans of the legendary fighting games that launched a worldwide competitive community have lived with slightly less-than-great film adaptations of their favorite titles. In fact, most films based on video games have tanked, which is why it's not a major surprise when gamers (in the face of incredible comic book blockbusters) remain wary of any live-action films based on the classic titles of the '80s and '90s. Mortal Kombat, a brutal and iconic franchise that has lasted for decades, is absolutely no exception: the first two movies that were meant to launch a long-running franchise were fantastic in their cheesy action-fantasy settings, but critics trashed them for their lack of plot, terrible acting, and overall confusing storylines.
In the new era of reboots, Warner Bros. seeks to remedy that, and the effort to bring the controversial yet beloved video game franchise back to the big screen is already underway.
Alongside confirmed writers Oren Uziel (who penned Mortal Kombat: Legacy, a webseries based on the games that enjoyed a large audience and two seasons) and Dave Callaham (The Expendables), it seems as though James Wan, who brought us the madness of The Conjuring and Insidious 2, is interested in the upcoming project. The Tracking Board reports:
Furious 7 director James Wan is stepping in to produce the MORTAL KOMBAT reboot currently underway at New Line and Broken Road.
The in-demand director of The Conjuring and Insidious: Chapter 2 has been brought over to uppercut some new life into the previously stunted picture. With his dark sensibility, ability to orchestrate action and scares, and a wildly successful financial track record, Wan seems to be the perfect fit for what the studio has described as “a departure from the mythology,” with “darker, brutally real martial arts.”
How one could get darker and even more brutal than the original source material is beyond this writer, but fans of the video game franchise have a new light of hope in the director, whose track record of dark smash-hits grows every year.
The film's basic plot is a little vague, and fans might have to wait a while to see the idea fleshed out, as it seems to run alongside the concepts of the games and former movies without specifics:
The script ... centers around 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. Now, in order to stop the world from total destruction, he must win the martial arts tournament known as ‘Mortal Kombat’..
Mortal Kombat is slated for a 2016 release under Warner Bros.' New Line Entertainment.