Mortal Kombat
Official film series logo
Directed by
Produced by
Based onMortal Kombat
by Ed Boon & John Tobias
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • August 18, 1995 (1995-08-18) (1)
  • November 21, 1997 (1997-11-21) (2)
  • April 23, 2021 (2021-04-23) (3)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
BudgetTotal (3 films)
$103 million
Box officeTotal (3 films)
$204.2 million

Mortal Kombat is an American series of martial arts action films based on the fighting video game series of the same name by Midway Games. The first film was produced by Lawrence Kasanoff’s Threshold Entertainment.

The first film, Mortal Kombat, was released in 1995 and its sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, was released in 1997. After the two films, game publisher Midway filed for bankruptcy. Warner Bros., having become the parent of New Line Cinema in 2008 (after over a decade of both operating as separate divisions of Time Warner), made a bid to purchase most of Midway's assets, including Mortal Kombat. In June 2009, Kasanoff and Threshold sued in bankruptcy court, arguing that they owned the copyright to many of the characters from the series.[1]

On July 1, 2009, the bankruptcy court approved the sale of most of Midway's assets to Warner Bros.[2] subject to the intellectual property claims of Threshold Entertainment.[3] After years of development hell, a reboot of the series was released in April 2021.

Films

Live-action

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Story by Producer(s)
Original series
Mortal Kombat August 18, 1995 Paul W. S. Anderson Kevin Droney Lawrence Kasanoff
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation November 21, 1997 John R. Leonetti Brent V. Friedman and Bryce Zabel Lawrence Kasanoff, Joshua Wexler and John Tobias
Reboot
Mortal Kombat April 23, 2021 Simon McQuoid Greg Russo and David Callaham Oren Uziel and Greg Russo James Wan and Todd Garner

Mortal Kombat (1995)

Main article: Mortal Kombat (1995 film)

Three unknown martial artists are summoned to a mysterious island to compete in a tournament whose outcome will decide the fate of the world.

Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)

Main article: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation

A group of martial arts warriors have only six days to save the Earth from an extra-dimensional invasion.

Mortal Kombat (2021)

Main article: Mortal Kombat (2021 film)

A washed-up mixed martial arts fighter named Cole Young is unaware of his hidden lineage or why 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.

Animated

Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Producer(s)
Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins April 11, 1995 Joseph Francis Kevin Droney Lawrence Kasanoff and Alison Savitch
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge April 14, 2020 Ethan Spaulding Jeremy Adams Rick Morales and Jim Krieg

Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins (1995)

On April 11, 1995,[4] New Line Home Video, Turner Home Entertainment and Threshold Entertainment released a tie-in animated film on VHS and Laserdisc, titled Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins. Serving as a prequel to the feature film, it follows the protagonists Liu Kang, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade as they travel on a mysterious boat to the Mortal Kombat tournament. On the way they meet Raiden, who provides them with some hints about how to survive the tournament and defeat Shang Tsung and his army of Tarkatan minions. Upon arriving at the island where the battles takes place, Raiden retells the origins of Shang Tsung, Goro, Scorpion, Sub-Zero and the Great Kung Lao in between fight scenes.

The film featured a combination of traditional animation, motion capture, and CGI to explain the origins behind some of the movie's main characters, as well as a fifteen-minute behind-the-scenes documentary of the theatrical release. Trailers of the film were seen on the promotional screener VHS copy, and on other VHS releases from Turner Home Entertainment and New Line Home Video. The film was included on the Mortal Kombat Blu-ray released in April 2011.

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge (2020)

Main article: Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge

In January 2020, it was reported that a direct-to-video animated film called Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge was to be released by Warner Bros. Animation on digital April 14, 2020, and would be released on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on April 28, 2020. The film would be directed by Ethan Spaulding and written by Jeremy Adams. The voice cast includes Patrick Seitz as Scorpion, Steve Blum as Sub-Zero, Darin De Paul as Quan Chi, Jordan Rodrigues as Liu Kang, Joel McHale as Johnny Cage, & Jennifer Carpenter as Sonya Blade. Kevin Michael Richardson also reprises his role of Goro from the 1995 live action film.[5] The film's premise centers around Scorpion seeking revenge on those who murdered his family and clan, after being resurrected by Quan Chi, while Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade are chosen to participate in the Mortal Kombat tournament to save Earthrealm from Outworld.

Cast and crew

Cast

Key
V Indicates the actor/actress lent only their voice for their film character.
   Dark gray cell indicates the character was not in the film.
Characters Animated films Live-action films
Mortal Kombat:
The Journey Begins
Mortal Kombat Legends:
Scorpion's Revenge
Mortal Kombat Mortal Kombat:
Annihilation
Mortal Kombat
Liu Kang Randy HamiltonV Jordan RodriguesV Robin Shou Ludi Lin
Sonya Blade Jennifer HaleV Jennifer CarpenterV Bridgette Wilson Sandra Hess Jessica McNamee
Johnny Cage Jeff Glen BennettV Joel McHaleV Linden Ashby Chris Conrad Pictured
Raiden Ron A. FeinbergV Dave B. MitchellV Christopher Lambert James Remar Tadanobu Asano
Scorpion Ed BoonV Patrick SeitzV Chris Casamassa J.J. Perry Hiroyuki Sanada
Ed BoonV
Sub-Zero Jim CummingsV Steve BlumV François Petit Keith Cooke Joe Taslim
Shang Tsung Artt ButlerV Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
(archive footage)
Chin Han
Goro Ron A. FeinbergV Kevin Michael RichardsonV Tom Woodruff Jr. Angus SampsonV
Kevin Michael RichardsonV
Frank WelkerV
Kitana Grey GriffinV Talisa Soto
Kano Robin Atkin DownesV Trevor Goddard Josh Lawson
Jax Ike AmadiV Gregory McKinney Lynn Red Williams Mehcad Brooks
Shao Kahn Fred TatascioreV Frank WelkerV Brian Thompson Pictured
Shinnok Robin Atkin DownesV Reiner Schöne Appeared
Quan Chi Darin De PaulV
Art Lean Kenneth Edwards
Reptile Appeared Keith Cooke Keith Cooke
(archive footage)
CGI
Frank WelkerV
Chan Kang Steven Ho Steven Ho
(archive footage)
Mileena Dana Hee Sisi Stringer
Jade Deleted scene Irina Pantaeva
Sindel Musetta Vander
Sheeva Marjean Holden
Nightwolf Litefoot Pictured
Motaro Deron McBee
Baraka Appeared Dennis Keiffer
Cole Young Lewis Tan
Kung Lao Max Huang
Kabal Daniel Nelson
Damon HerrimanV
Nitara Appeared Mel Jarnson
Reiko Nathan Jones
Allison Laura Brent
Emily Matilda Kimber
Ramirez Ian Streetz

Crew

Occupation Film
Mortal Kombat Mortal Kombat:
Annihilation
Mortal Kombat
Director(s) Paul W.S. Anderson John R. Leonetti Simon McQuoid
Producer Lawrence Kasanoff James Wan
Todd Garner
Simon McQuoid
E. Bennett Walsh
Writer(s) Kevin Droney Screenplay by
Brent V. Friedman
Bryce Zabel
Story by
Lawrence Kasanoff
Joshua Wexler
John Tobias
Screenplay by
Greg Russo
David Callaham[6]
Story by
Oren Uziel[6]
Greg Russo
Composer George S. Clinton Benjamin Wallfisch
Director(s) of photography John R. Leonetti Matthew F. Leonetti Germain McMicking
Editor(s) Martin Hunter Peck Prior Scott Gray
Dan Lebental
Production company(s) Threshold Entertainment New Line Cinema
Atomic Monster Productions
Broken Road Productions
Distributor(s) New Line Cinema Warner Bros. Pictures

Reception

Box office performance

Film U.S. release date Box office revenue Budget Reference
United States International Worldwide
Original series
Mortal Kombat August 18, 1995 (1995-08-18) $73,000,000 $51,741,822 $124,741,822 $18 million [7]
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation November 21, 1997 $35,927,406 $15,449,455 $51,376,861 $30 million [8][9]
Reboot
Mortal Kombat April 23, 2021 $41,239,383 $38,500,000 $79,739,383 $55 million [10][11]
Total $117,957,406 $86,391,277 $204,348,683 $103 million

Critical and public response

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore[12]
Mortal Kombat 44% (43 reviews)[13] 60 (13 reviews)[14] A–
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation 2% (44 reviews)[15] 11 (12 reviews)[16] C+
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge 90% (21 reviews)[17]
Mortal Kombat (2021) 55% (277 reviews)[18] 44 (43 reviews)[19] B+

Music

Soundtracks

Title U.S. release date Length Composer(s) Label
Mortal Kombat: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack August 15, 1995 68:28 Various Artists TVT
Mortal Kombat: Original Motion Picture Score October 11, 1995 42:01 George S. Clinton Rykodisc
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack October 28, 1997 72:08 TVT
Mortal Kombat: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack April 16, 2021 79:37 Benjamin Wallfisch WaterTower Music

Novelizations

A novelization of the first movie by "Martin Delrio" (James D. Macdonald and Debra Doyle) was released through Tor Books. It is based on an early version of the film's script, and as such it includes several deleted or unfilmed scenes, such as a fight between Sonya Blade and Jade.

References

  1. ^ Andy Chalk. "The Escapist : News : Midway Sued Over Mortal Kombat Rights". Escapistmagazine.com. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  2. ^ Dunca, Geoff. "Time Warner Buying Most of Midway Games for $33 Mln". Digital Trends. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  3. ^ Gross, Kevin. In re: Midway Games Inc., et al., Debtors, Bankruptcy No. 09-10465; Threshold Entertainment, Inc. v. Midway Games Inc., et al., Adv. Case No. 09-51081, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, D. Delaware, March 29, 2011; and "Finish Him! Bankruptcy Court Dismissed Suit Over Mortal Kombat Intellectual Property Rights for Lack of Subject-Matter Jurisdiction", Morris James, LLP, September 2, 2011
  4. ^ "Mortal Kombat on Video". GamePro. IDG (69): 24. April 1995.
  5. ^ Mortal Kombat Animated Movie in the Works With Joel McHale, Jennifer Carpenter - IGN, retrieved June 12, 2020
  6. ^ a b "Mortal Kombat (Reboot) - WGA Directory". findawriter.wgaeast.org. Retrieved June 12, 2020.
  7. ^ "Mortal Kombat". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  8. ^ "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997)". The Numbers. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  9. ^ "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  10. ^ "Mortal Kombat (2021)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  11. ^ Lang, Brett (April 24, 2021). "'Mortal Kombat,' 'Demon Slayer' Locked in Fierce Box Office Battle". Variety. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
  12. ^ "CinemaScore" (type "Mortal Kombat" into the search bar). Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  13. ^ "Mortal Kombat reviews". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  14. ^ "Mortal Kombat reviews". Metacritic.com. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  15. ^ "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  16. ^ "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
  17. ^ "Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge". Rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  18. ^ "Mortal Kombat". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
  19. ^ "Mortal Kombat (2021) Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 30, 2021.