As Mortal Kombat nears its theatrical and HBO Max release on Friday, the filmmakers have been working double time to assure fans of the classic fighting game series that this adaptation will be “unapologetically brutal” when it comes to honoring the franchise’s ultra-violent roots. This time around, Lewis Tan, who plays the new character Cole Young, opened up about the film’s use of practical effects to make the movie’s high-octane fights look realistic even while having an ice ninja fight a guy with robot arms. And based on Tan’s description, it sounds like the Mortal Kombat set had some very messy days. Via Variety:
Of course, when you talk about “Mortal Kombat,” one of the major things you talk about is the fatalities. So how gruesome are the fatalities that you got to witness?
Yeah, they’re pretty gruesome. I walked on set one day and I didn’t know what was going on, and I accidentally walked into a post-fatality set and I felt pretty sick to my stomach. [Laughs.] I was like, “What the hell is this? What happened here?” It looked like somebody destroyed a buffet line, but there was no food.
Tan goes on to elaborate how director Simon McQuoid was absolutely committed to capturing the essence of the video game series, but he also wanted to make sure it worked with the story without going too over the top.
“He was like, ‘This is going to be hard R. Try not to make it NC-17, but let’s take it all the way up until that point.’ And that’s what we did,” Tan said. “But I think he did it really tastefully. He didn’t just try to be super gory and crazy. I’m not into all that, but I think if you’re going to do Mortal Kombat correctly, you’ve got to have it.”