To achieve a flawless victory, the director and the stars of the new film “Mortal Kombat” wanted to stay true to classic video games.
And that meant having constant conversations about how to incorporate elements of popular fighting games into the live-action film, actor Chin Han, who portrays evil wizard Shang Tsung, told the Daily News.
“Viewers can expect to see a lot of their favorite characters in their favorite costumes, doing their favorite Fatalities,” he said.
The film, now in theaters and on HBO Max, is the latest entry in the sprawling “Mortal Kombat” franchise, which began with a 1992 arcade game that allowed users to brawl with powerful characters.
Like the games, the upcoming ‘Mortal Kombat’ movie is full of intense combat, with iconic characters like Sonya Blade, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero woven into the plot.
Chin Han’s character is the central villain – an evil sorcerer from the desolate Outworld who seeks to overtake the Earth Kingdom with his army of warriors.
“Shang Tsung is kind of an apex predator,” the 51-year-old Singaporean actor said. “The state of evolution that he is able to take on the forms of the people he fights and take their souls, and souls are the most important aspect of a human being. It was very interesting to discuss. What drives a person to have such an appetite and bloodlust?
The film was directed by filmmaker Simon McQuoid, who has worked on numerous advertising campaigns for video games, including “Halo”.
It was important to McQuoid that each of the “Mortal Kombat” characters shine their moments in the film.
“There were key ingredients and key aspects in the title that just couldn’t be changed,” McQuoid told The News. “It was really about bringing out things that already existed in the ‘Mortal Kombat’ canon and elevating them. It wasn’t about changing them.
“It was about, ‘OK, how do we make this suit, or this hat, or this story point, or this fight or this fatality? How do you make this really powerful, believable, and entertaining movie version of what people might know? »
The new film reboots a series of “Mortal Kombat” films that released two films in the 1990s. There have also been 11 mainline video games in the franchise, in addition to numerous spinoffs.
“There’s a huge, huge amount of history and canon and detail that’s been built and built and built over the last two decades,” McQuoid said. “It was understanding what mattered, what didn’t matter, and really, I tried to immerse myself in the world of ‘Mortal Kombat’ as much as I could. … I also had people around me who really knew it, and I relied on them. It was something we talked about every day.
For Chin Han, the rich history of “Mortal Kombat” was a major draw.
“The tradition was so appealing,” he said. “A battle of champions. How can you be cool? As humans, we are drawn to these kinds of glasses, whether it’s the Boston Celtics of the 80s, the rivalry LA Lakers or John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg. I think that kind of knowing was so appealing.