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Mortal Kombat is a 2021 American martial arts fantasy film directed by Simon McQuoid from a screenplay by Greg Russo and Dave Callaham, based on the video game series of the same name created by Ed Boon and John Tobias. The film serves as a reboot of the Mortal Kombat film series. It stars Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Max Huang, Joe Taslim, and Hiroyuki Sanada. The film follows Cole Young, a washed-up mixed martial arts fighter who is unaware of his hidden lineage or why the assassin Sub-Zero is hunting him down. Concerned for the safety of his family, he seeks out a clique of fighters that were chosen to defend Earthrealm against Outworld.
Following the critical and commercial failure of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), a third Mortal Kombat film languished in development hell for a period of nearly two decades. In late 2010, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema began developing a new film, with Kevin Tancharoen serving as director from a script written by Oren Uziel in the wake of their short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth (2010). James Wan was announced as a producer in August 2015 and McQuoid was hired as director in November 2016. Production took place at Adelaide Studios in Adelaide and at other locations in South Australia. Principal photography occurred from September to December 2019.
Mortal Kombat was released internationally on April 8, 2021, and in the United States on April 23, simultaneously in theaters in Dolby Cinema, IMAX, and 4DX formats and on the streaming service HBO Max. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances, production values, action sequences, and greater faithfulness to the source material than the previous films, but criticised its dialogue and exposition. The film grossed over $84 million against a $55 million production budget and became HBO Max's most-successful film launch to date. A sequel is in development, with Jeremy Slater set to write the screenplay and McQuoid returning as director