The 1995 Mortal Kombat movie is still the best video game adaption film of all time. Featuring the iconic techno theme song and a diverse cast of super-powered martial arts champions, the film stands as a time capsule for the weird pop culture moment that was the early ’90s. And now, just as Pokémon infest the multiplexes with the satisfying nostalgia bait movie Detective Pikachu, it looks like Mortal Kombat is set to uppercut itself back into the blockbuster zeitgeist. Let’s hope Pikachu can keep his head.
Late Monday evening, an ABC reporter based out of Adelaide, Australia, said that the long-rumored Mortal Kombat movie reboot will be filmed in South Australia, making it “the largest movie ever filmed and produced” there. She tweeted that production on the movie will start a month from now. And according to Australian news site AdelaideNow, South Australian Premier Steve Marshall confirmed at a news conference that the Mortal Kombat film will be a significant moment for South Australian film production.
Here’s the kicker: Aquaman director James Wan is on board. The production will be directed by Australian commercials director Simon McQuoid, and Wan will be the producer. They are going to need him—the realms of Mortal Kombat are as vast, complicated, and diverse as they are brutal. Wan displayed, if nothing else, that he’s a master of world-building in his impressive 2018 Aquaman film. Hopefully, he and McQuoid can pull off some flashy fatalities, too.
Fans of the video game know that Warner Bros. publishes the Mortal Kombat titles, which frequently feature iconic film characters from WB’s vast archive. Now, Warner Bros. will be the studio handling the big budget film adaptation, with a script written by Greg Russo, who was also hired to pen an upcoming Resident Evil reboot film.
Perhaps with Wan’s guidance, they can finally take the global conception of Mortal Kombat out of the kitschy ’90s gutter and bring it into the modern day where it belongs. With star-studded team-up films like Avengers: Endgame killing it at the box offices right now alongside video game adaptations like Detective Pikachu, there may never be a better moment for Mortal Kombat to come back to theaters.