When it comes to the upcoming James Wan-produced Mortal Kombat movie reboot, it will not be getting over here anytime soon. Directed by newcomer Simon McQuoid, the very R-rated video game adaptation was originally supposed hit theatres on 5 March 2021, but things were going well enough on the shoot that Warner Bros actually bumped it up to 15 January 2021. Unfortunately, that good fortune was shortlived as not even the forces of Outworld could stand up against COVID-19 and thus the upcoming film recently got delayed by Warner Bros. Like, really delayed.
Answering a fan’s question on Twitter, producer Todd Garner revealed the film’s release has now been put on hold indefinitely until some normality returns to cinemas.
This doesn’t come as a surprise given how WB’s previous attempt to rush a film to cinemas despite the pandemic, ended in massive disappointment. Yes, I’m talking about you, Tenet. What is surprising though is that the studio had another option on the table and isn’t taking it. I’m referring to the WarnerMedia-owned HBO Max. As we recently learned, WB will be releasing Wonder Woman 1984 in theatres where possible and simultaneously for one month on the streaming service for no additional charge to subscribers. This will certainly be a boon for the fledgeling HBO Max as it will bump up its subscription numbers massively. Doing this with more movies, like Mortal Kombat, increases those numbers even further.
But according to a report from Variety, WB brass apparently considered the option, but then chose to rather delay it indefinitely. It could be that the studio is hoping that the pandemic will ease up later in 2021 and thus they will have a few big titles ready to go to bring people back in cinemas, but that’s a gamble they already took once before and lost. This is especially puzzling since Mortal Kombat is still an iffy production.
There have been some unconfirmed rumours about the film’s story which sounded rather silly if true. And while Mortal Kombat boasts one hell of an ensemble cast featuring amazing actors/martial artists like Joe Taslim, Ludi Lin, Tadanobu Asano, Hiroyuki Sananda, Chin Han, Mehcad Brooks, Lewis Tan, and more, but we’ve yet to even see a single shot of any of them in costume. There have been some cool behind-the-scenes vids, but surely WB should have been able to show off something by now already given that the movie was supposed to release in six weeks.
Given all of that, you would have to think that releasing simultaneously on HBO Max and in theatres would be a safer bet for this film. Maybe WB is just waiting to see how the Wonder Woman 1984 experiment turns out and then it may change its tune. The studio appears to already be thinking along those lines for other productions as Variety reports that it’s considering HBO Max releases for biographical drama Judas and the Black Messiah with Daniel Kaluya and Lakeith Stanfield, Denzel Washington’s crime thriller The Little Things, and the new hybrid CG/live-action Tom and Jerry film. Why those and not Mortal Kombat is anybody’s guess right now.
Last Updated: December 3, 2020