While thinking about the future of the franchise!
Last Monday (14) I attended a press conference, on behalf of the Legion of Heroes, with Todd Garner, producer of the long-awaited film Mortal Kombat. Speaking of the challenges of the project and the engagement of the actors in the fight sequences, Garner took the time to explain something all fans have been wondering since the synopsis was released: What is the reason for introducing Cole Young (Lewis Tan) a character created exclusively for the film?
Cole Young, the audience guide
Insisting that the film does not draw inspiration from any specific game in the Mortal Kombat franchise, Garner says the creative process for the project involved looking at the entire MK universe. “We take it as a whole, trying to figure out how we can start something that can be bigger than a single movie.”
But for that, it will be necessary to overcome the “curse of the plays” which haunts the film adaptations. According to him, the recipe for failure is present in a very basic element of the games: No movie will ever bring audiences to the feeling of being in control and being that character that is being played. “I think people like the characters as an extension of themselves. Everyone has their favorite. All these characters that people fell in love with, and who put so much of themselves into them. Because of this, he knows a lot of people will be frustrated not to see their favorite Kombatentes in the feature film, but Garner guarantees that the plan is to build a franchise that will allow all of the characters to appear in the future.
And that’s where Cole Young comes in. According to the producer himself, he is not the protagonist of the film, but his presence is essential for the franchise to have any chance of success:
“He’s someone who could present the film to the public. After all, not everyone who is going to watch the movie is a die-hard franchise fan who knows everything about Mortal Kombat, ”he explains. “We were thinking what would be the best way to bring audiences to the movie, and there was no character [dos jogos] that it seemed natural to them to sit down and listen to the rules and be guided by this world.
Due to all the rules that make up the complex Mortal Kombat universe, there were some things that had to be left out, so that everything felt more organic and natural. And Cole becomes the audience himself who doesn’t get a handle on all of those MK details. “We decided the best way to go was to create this character who would be the audience themselves. He would show up in this movie and meet all the characters you love ”.
Even so, he’s well aware of the resistance some fans have to Cole’s presence in the film. Todd points out that in order for all of the amazing stories in Mortal Kombat to be told, it was necessary to start with a well-established base and the new character is essential for that. “Obviously Mortal Kombat fans are used to creating new characters, there are new characters coming in every game. So they can allow us to create a new character and then satisfy whatever the fans want. ? “, He asks. “There would be no way to do anything without a character that connects everything.”
For Garner, the main aspect of the games to work on in the film were the fight scenes. And the challenge was to make sure they were authentic and lifelike, without it looking like the actors were flying on cables or faking the shots. Fortunately, everyone in the movie has been trained for this. “I was impressed every day. Every person in our movie knows how to fight and has had intense combat training.
Without hiding his pride in the actors’ efforts, the producer claims that several actors have given up on the use of double stunts, like Lewis Tan, Ludi Lin (Liu Kang) and Joe Taslim (Sub-Zero), doing all the action. . sequences alone. And one of the highlights Garner mentioned was Max Huang, the Kung Lao, who rotated five times in the air, without the need for cables, being happy to be able to include this movement he had trained in the project. . “You see people in our movie and you really see them fighting. This is what we want in our film. ”
Fancy foot to the ground
Still according to Todd Garner, the film tries to bring a more “down to earth” and more realistic vision of everything. And it shows in the costumes worn by the Kombatentes. Realizing that many people have criticized Sub-Zero and Scorpion’s looser mask, he explains that it was necessary. “When you wear a helmet, it gets a bit wide. When someone tries to hit you in the face with a sword, you need a little distance, ”he says.
Another concern was to ensure that the actors could move around and fight without difficulty. Unlike digital media, live action requires other types of adaptations. During costume testing, when an actor struggled to execute his moves, everything was redesigned:
“We had to think about these things. How they were portrayed in games, sometimes just to have an effect, and how we could take that and make sure the spirit of it was present, but not necessarily being completely true to the details. You have to be true to the game and the original material, but also practical in terms of “What would really happen if someone tried to kick you in the face?” So we did that and in practice it made sense.
Death is not the end
Responding to a question from the Legion of Heroes, Garner brought up the challenge of balancing the death of the characters in the film: “Well, this is Mortal Kombat, people are going to die. But in games, what’s great is that when people die you can go back and play with other characters. We’re aware of that, of the whole story of Mortal Kombat and how the characters have changed and evolved, and, you know, this is how the game says: Death is just a portal.
According to him, the way fighting works in games has been considered. Therefore, there was great concern regarding the deaths. “We want to make sure that all of the deaths in the film are achievements and deserved, and that they are incredible, something that fans will understand and appreciate.” However, the death of a Kombatente doesn’t mean it’s the end of their story. “If you enjoyed playing with a character and they suffered a death in this movie, that doesn’t mean they died forever.”
From fan to fan
But for Garner, what excited him the most about the idea for the film was being able to use all the characters in this gigantic universe. Surrounded by almost endless possibilities, the producer emphasizes that his role has always been to set things up for a possible film franchise. “I try to see it as something bigger than a single movie. So Simon McQuoid is the director of this movie, and he did a great job with this movie. My job, as a producer working with Warner and New Line, is to think: how do you create something with all these amazing people who could live on forever? And this question opens countless doors to the different stories present in Mortal Kombat games. “That’s what turns me on. Being able to use all of these types of tones and ideas and giving each of these characters the love and respect they deserve.
Mortal Kombat is slated for release on April 16.
Check out everything you need to notice in the Mortal Kombat trailer: