Todd Garner, one of the producers for the upcoming Mortal Kombat reboot, stated that the conflict between Scorpion and Sub-Zero will be the heart of the film. Mortal Kombat will adapt the popular video game series of the same name and will be the third live-action movie in the franchise. Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation came out in the 90s but received mixed to negative reviews. Simon McQuoid will direct the new movie in his feature film debut, and James Wan, along with Garner, serve as producers.
Both Scorpion and Sub-Zero serve as Mortal Kombat's de-facto mascots. The characters have appeared in nearly every game in the series in one form or another, and the rivalry between the two is one of the most iconic reoccurring storylines in the narratively-rich fighting series. The origin of the conflict starts when the original Sub-Zero, Bi-Han, a member of the Lin Kuai clan, is sent on a quest by the necromancer Quan-Chi to obtain an amulet from the rival Shirai Ryu clan. Bi-Han ends up encountering Hanzo Hasashi (a member of the Shirai Ryu) and kills him, which causes Quan Chi to resurrect him as the undead Scorpion. Scorpion vows to avenge his clan and family by tracking down Sub-Zero and killing him.
Speaking to Comicbook, Garner stated the choice to begin the film with the fight between Bi-Han and Hasashi serves as a sort of thesis statement for the movie. Garner said that many creative choices about the film stemmed from the decision to open Mortal Kombat on the fight between Scorpion and Sub-Zero, and that the central heart of the movie will be much more concerned with the themes surrounding that conflict rather than bombastic fighting moves. Check out Garner's comments below:
Where you begin the movie is everything. So if you're starting with whatever character, that's the movie you're telling. You saw the beginning of our movie and that's the movie we're ultimately telling is what does it mean when you try to exterminate someone's entire race, their entire clan?
So clearly we're setting up the heart of the movie in the first 13 minutes. So when you make that decision to start a movie that way with no English words spoken in a very carousel way with revenge and heartbreak and tragedy, that's the movie you're telling. And you can't then just shift gears and have the '90s techno soundtrack, and everybody in spandex running around, bicycle kicking each other. So once you make that choice, you have to stick with it and for better or for worse, ride that wave until it crashes. And that's what this movie does.
Previously, the team behind the movie showed the first 13 minutes of Mortal Kombat to the press. As Garner stated, the film opens on the initial fight between Bi-Han and Hasashi before they have donned their iconic costumes. The opening has a quiet, almost Kurosawa-like tone, and not a single word of English is spoken during it. The characters' backgrounds seem to be very accurate to the games, although it seems like Sub-Zero may be taking the place of Quan-Chi.
Seeing as the conflict between Sub-Zero and Scorpion has remained a constant across Mortal Kombat's multiple games, movies, and timelines, the choice to have it play such a key role in the film makes sense. Garner's recognition of how important that conflict is to the series' lore should ease any fans who still have trepidations about the new film. If Mortal Kombat truly is a movie that cares more about the heart of a long-held conflict rather than outrageous violence, then fans might finally receive a film that lives up to the original game series.
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