Oren Uziel, the screenwriter of the original script for the Mortal Kombat reboot which is currently in development has teased that his adaptation of the violent video game was an R-Rated version of The Avengers.
Mortal Kombat is one of the most successful video game franchises of all time and the feature film adaptation that released in 1995 is still held in regard as one of the best video game adaptations ever produced — which isn’t saying much given Hollywood has yet to deliver a video game adaptation that is both critically and commercially successful — but after the failure that was Mortal Kombat: Annihilation — one of the worst sequels of all time — the franchise stalled out and the fighting game has never been as popular as it was in the mid-’90s.
In 2010, the web-short Mortal Kombat: Rebirth emerged and gained enough popularity to spawn the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series. Behind Rebirth was Uziel and while he didn’t remain involved with Legacy, he was eventually asked back by New Line to develop the script for a new feature version which now has Australian commercial director Simon McQuiod set to direct for New Line. McQuiod is best known for his commercials for PlayStation, Halo, Range Rover, and Beats by Dre. Aquaman director James Wan will produce the film with a more recent draft of the script penned by Greg Russo.
Uziel himself recently sat down with Collider to promote his upcoming directorial debut, the Netflix crime thriller Shimmer Lake — which drops on the streaming service on June 9th — when he opened up about his involvement with the Mortal Kombat reboot:
“I ended up writing a short for him that he shot and it became kind of a big thing, and I know he used that to convince Machinima to make the digital series which I didn’t have anything to do with, and then after a couple years of that New Line came onboard to actually make a feature version again. And it was at that point that Kevin called and New Line called and said, ‘Hey, you were there at at the beginning, do you wanna come back?’ I said, ‘Sure’, so I wrote them a feature that has been the basis of what the Mortal Kombat movie will be, but it’s been kicking around for a little while now. I know James Wan came on to produce, so that to me was a good sign that maybe things were heating up again, but beyond that I really don’t know the specifics.”
While it is unclear as to how much of Uziel’s take on the fighter game remains in Russo’s draft, he revealed that the film could be something along the lines of a violent R-Rated version of The Avengers:
“Well, and again I don’t know what remains of this, but I know that it was going to be—it’s almost like if you took The Avengers, or if you took a storyline like that and set it in a sort of hard-R, over-the-top violence and hard-edged world of Mortal Kombat. It was a little bit like that, it was a little bit like a Wanted-type story that brought together a bunch of these characters and just pulled zero punches, and had a tone that was still fun but very dark.”
There have been no new developments regarding the reboot since last fall but it’s only a matter of time before the Mortal Kombat franchise returns to the silver screen considering the risk-adverse nature that has Hollywood mining the depths for any salvageable franchise that guarantees a built-in audience.
Does an R-Rated take on The Avengers sound like something you would like to see for Mortal Kombat? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest on the Mortal Kombat reboot as we learn it.