Mortal Kombat (2021 film)
Mortal Kombat is a 2021 American martial arts fantasy film based on the video game franchise of the same name and a reboot of the Mortal Kombat film series. The film stars Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson, Tadanobu Asano, Mehcad Brooks, Ludi Lin, Chin Han, Joe Taslim, and Hiroyuki Sanada. It is directed by Simon McQuoid (in his feature directorial debut), from a screenplay by Greg Russo and Dave Callaham and a story by Russo and Oren Uziel.
|Directed by||Simon McQuoid|
|Music by||Benjamin Wallfisch|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$66.9 million|
Following the critical and commercial failure of the 1997 film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, 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 (whose parent company acquired the franchise from Midway Games in 2009) began developing a new film, with Kevin Tancharoen serving as director from a script written by Uziel in the wake of their Mortal Kombat: Rebirth short film. 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 theatrically internationally on April 8, 2021, and was then released in the United States on April 23, simultaneously in theaters in 3D and on the HBO Max streaming service. The film received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $66 million worldwide; it was also a streaming hit, becoming the most successful launch item in HBO Max's history.
In 17th-century Japan, Lin Kuei assassins led by the ruthless Bi-Han stage an attack to slaughter the warriors of the rival Shirai Ryu ninja clan led by Hanzo Hasashi, including Hanzo's wife and son. Hanzo kills the attackers before being killed by Bi-Han, resulting in his soul being condemned to the Netherrealm. Raiden, god of thunder, arrives and takes Hanzo's surviving infant daughter to safety.
In the present, the realm of Outworld has defeated Earthrealm in nine of ten deathmatch tournaments known as "Mortal Kombat"; if Earthrealm loses the tenth tournament, the rules state it will be conquered by Outworld. However, an ancient prophecy is uncovered, stating that the "blood of Hanzo Hasashi" will unite a new generation of Earthrealm's champions to prevent Outworld's victory. Aware of this, soul-eating sorcerer Shang Tsung, who has overseen the last nine victories, sends his strongest warriors to kill Earthrealm's champions, identified by a distinctive dragon mark, before the next tournament begins. One such champion, a former professional MMA fighter named Cole Young, is attacked alongside his family by Bi-Han, who now calls himself Sub-Zero. However, Special Forces Major Jackson "Jax" Briggs rescues the Youngs, directing them to find his partner, Sonya Blade, while he stays behind to fight off Sub-Zero; Sub-Zero freezes Jax's arms, shatters them, and leaves him for dead.
Cole tracks Sonya to her hideout, where she is interrogating a captive Australian mercenary named Kano. She reveals that she and Jax have been investigating Mortal Kombat's existence and that the dragon mark can be transferred to anyone who kills the original bearer. The hideout is attacked by Shang Tsung's reptilian assassin, Reptile, but a reluctant Kano kills him with Cole and Sonya's help. They then travel to Raiden's temple and meet current Earthrealm champions Liu Kang and Kung Lao before being brought to Raiden himself, who is critical of the newcomers. They are joined by Jax, who Raiden rescued and fitted with a set of mechanical arms. Shang Tsung attacks the temple alongside Sub-Zero and Mileena, but Raiden erects a shield to stave them off. While Sonya trains and encourages Jax to fight despite his condition, Cole and Kano train with Kang and Lao to unlock their "arcana", a special power unique to all dragon mark bearers.
During an argument with Lao, Kano awakens his arcana, the ability to shoot a laser out of his right eye. Cole is unable to awaken his despite his persistence. Disappointed with his lack of progress, Raiden allows Cole to return to his family, revealing that he is a descendant of Hasashi. Shang Tsung gathers Sub-Zero and his fellow warriors: Mileena, Reiko, Nitara, Goro, and Kano's former ally Kabal, intending to attack the temple. Kabal convinces him to defect and sabotage the shield, allowing the Outworlders to enter, during which Lao battles and dismembers Nitara while Jax awakens his arcana, which grants him incredible strength using his arms. Concurrently, the Youngs are attacked by Goro. When Cole's wife and daughter are threatened by the four-armed brute, his arcana awakens, giving him a suit of armor and a set of tonfas. With his newfound arcana, Cole kills Goro and helps repel the attack on the temple. Shang Tsung and Sub-Zero are infuriated when Raiden discloses Cole's bloodline before he teleports most of the Earthrealm fighters to the Void, a safe space between realms. Lao, however, sacrifices himself defending Cole from Sub-Zero resulting in Shang Tsung taking his soul.
After mourning Lao's death, Cole proposes a plan to force Outworld's champions into single combat with Earthrealm's champions before neutralizing Sub-Zero together, forcing the tournament Shang Tsung tried to prevent. Raiden agrees, giving Cole Hanzo's kunai before transporting him and his allies to their targets. Kang and Jax kill Kabal and Reiko while Sonya kills Kano and acquires his dragon mark and her own arcana, the ability to fire purple energy blasts, which she uses to help Cole kill Mileena. However, Sub-Zero appears, having abducted Cole's family to lure him into a one-on-one fight. Initially overpowered, Cole's blood ends up on the kunai, releasing Hanzo from the Netherrealm as the vengeful specter Scorpion. Recognizing Cole as his descendant, Scorpion helps him overpower Sub-Zero and free Cole's family before immolating Sub-Zero with hellfire. Thanking Cole for freeing him and requesting that he look after the Hasashi bloodline, Scorpion departs as Raiden and the other champions arrive.
Shang Tsung also arrives, vowing revenge as he sends his champions' corpses back to Outworld before Raiden banishes him. Raiden declares his intention to train new warriors in preparation for the next tournament and assigns his current champions to recruit them. With this information, Cole departs for Los Angeles in search of Hollywood martial artist and movie star Johnny Cage.
- Lewis Tan as Cole Young
- Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade
- Josh Lawson as Kano
- Tadanobu Asano as Lord Raiden
- Mehcad Brooks as Jax
- Ludi Lin as Liu Kang
- Chin Han as Shang Tsung
- Joe Taslim as Bi-Han / Sub-Zero
- Hiroyuki Sanada as Hanzo Hasashi / Scorpion
- Max Huang as Kung Lao
- Sisi Stringer as Mileena
- Matilda Kimber as Emily
- Laura Brent as Allison
- Daniel Nelson as Kabal (action and stunts)
- Damon Herriman as Kabal (voice)
- Angus Sampson as Goro (voice)
- Nathan Jones as Reiko
- Mel Jarnson as Nitara
- Yukiko Shinohara as Harumi
In 1997, Robin Shou's original Mortal Kombat contract was a three-picture deal, and Threshold Entertainment's production on a second sequel was initially scheduled to commence shortly after the release of Annihilation, but it was shelved due to Annihilation's poor reception and disappointing box-office performance. Attempts to produce a third film since then have remained stuck in development hell with numerous script rewrites and storyline, cast, and crew changes. A November 2001 poll on the official Mortal Kombat website hosted by Threshold asked fans which characters they believed would die in the third movie. The 2005 destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina greatly affected one of the film's planned shooting locations. In June 2009, a bankruptcy court lawsuit saw Lawrence Kasanoff suing Midway Games while mentioning that a third film was in the works. Warner Bros. Pictures (which became the parent of New Line Cinema in 2008, after over a decade of both operating as separate divisions of Time Warner) ended up purchasing most of Midway's assets, including Mortal Kombat.
In 2010, director Kevin Tancharoen released an eight-minute short film titled Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, made as a pitch to Warner Bros. Pictures of a reboot of the Mortal Kombat film franchise. In September 2011, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. announced that Tancharoen was hired to direct a new feature-length film from a screenplay by Mortal Kombat: Rebirth writer Oren Uziel, with the intention of aiming for an R rating. Shooting was expected to begin in March 2012 with a budget projected at between $40–50 million and a release date of 2013. However, the project was ultimately delayed due to budget constraints, and Tancharoen began working on the second season of the web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy until problems with the film had been sorted out, but he quit the film production in October 2013.
James Wan signed on as the film's producer in August 2015. Simon McQuoid was hired as director in November 2016, marking his feature directorial debut, with Greg Russo writing the script. McQuoid had turned down the offer initially, but ultimately signed on after reading Russo's script. Russo tweeted in February 2019 that the film's script was complete. In May 2019, it was announced that the film had entered pre-production and would be shot in South Australia, with a release date of March 5, 2021. Russo tweeted in July 2019 that the film would indeed have an R rating and that the games' Fatalities would "finally be on the big screen".
In April 2021, McQuoid revealed that the film came "quite close to the line" of getting an NC-17 rating by the Motion Picture Association, saying in full, "What we had to be a bit careful of was... you can get to NC-17 territory pretty quick. It's different in a video game when it's not real human beings. When you move this across to reality, a different set of things start to happen in your mind, and you get rated slightly differently. So there were certain things that are in the game that would mean the film would be unreleasable. And none of us wanted that. … So we were balancing that stuff all the time. And there's some stuff that you will see that really gets quite close to the line because we didn't want people to go, 'Meh. Seemed kind of lame.'"
Joe Taslim was the first actor cast for the production in July 2019, as Bi-Han, the first Sub-Zero. In August, Mehcad Brooks, Tadanobu Asano, Sisi Stringer, and Ludi Lin were cast in the roles of Jax, Raiden, Mileena, and Liu Kang respectively. Later that month, Josh Lawson, Jessica McNamee, Chin Han and Hiroyuki Sanada were cast as Kano, Sonya Blade, Shang Tsung and Scorpion respectively, with Lewis Tan in the role of Cole Young, an original character created for the film. On September 16, 2019, it was announced that Max Huang had been cast as Kung Lao. Stuntwoman Elissa Cadwell was announced as having been cast as Nitara on November 11, 2019. However, in the film she is actually played by Mel Jarnson. Matilda Kimber was cast as Emily on December 4, 2019.
Production took place at Adelaide Studios and other locations in South Australia, lasting from September 16 to December 13, 2019. In November 2020, Todd Garner stated that "we have more days to shoot" in a statement regarding the film's release delay. The film was shot on the ARRI ALEXA LF and Mini LF cameras with Panavision Anamorphic lenses.
The score for Mortal Kombat was composed by Benjamin Wallfisch. In March 2021, director Simon McQuoid revealed that Wallfisch actually began compositions for the film before he was officially hired on the project and that the film will include a new version of the track "Techno Syndrome" by The Immortals produced by Wallfisch.
Theatrical and streaming
Mortal Kombat was theatrically released internationally, beginning on April 8, 2021, and was later released in the United States on April 23, 2021, in both theaters RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D and on HBO Max. The film was originally going to be released on March 5, 2021 before being moved up to January 15, 2021. In November 2020, producer Todd Garner confirmed that the film would be delayed until theaters are reopened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, before it was finally dated for release on April 16. As part of its plans for all of its 2021 films, Warner Bros. also streamed the film simultaneously on the HBO Max service for one month, after which the film will be removed until the normal home media release schedule period. In late March 2021, the film was delayed one week to April 23. Following its U.S. release, Samba TV reported that 3.8 million households watched at least the first five minutes over its first three days, the most ever for an HBO Max title.
On May 10, 2020, which was when the film was initially set to release prior to being delayed due the COVID-19 pandemic, Entertainment Weekly released a first look of the film, which contained several behind the scenes photos. On February 17, 2021, a series of character posters were released for the film, along with the next announcement that the film's first trailer would be released the following day. On February 18, 2021, the first red band trailer for the film was released online. The trailer received critical acclaim from both fans and critics alike, with particular praise for the gory action sequences and the inclusion of the game's iconic fatalities. A scene featuring Scorpion saying his iconic catchphrase "Get over here!" was also seen as a highlight from the trailer. The film's first trailer had become the most-watched red-band trailer until the release of the first trailer of The Suicide Squad a month later.
Originally projected to gross $10–12 million in its domestic opening weekend, the film made $9 million from 3,073 theaters on its first day of release, increasing estimates to $19 million. It went on to debut to $23.3 million, topping the box office. In its sophomore weekend the film dropped 73% to $6.2 million, finishing second behind Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train ($6.4 million).
In its opening international weekend, the film made $10.7 million from 17 countries, with the largest market being Russia ($6.1 million). In its second weekend the film made $5.7 million from 28 countries.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 54% of 233 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Largely for fans of the source material but far from fatal(ity) flawed, Mortal Kombat revives the franchise in appropriately violent fashion." Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 44 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
Alonso Duralde of the TheWrap wrote: "Viewers interested in martial-arts action are bound to find the combat-with-a-C to be lackluster in that way that hand-to-hand fighting tends to be when it gets drowned out by digital effects. More likely to have fun with this latest Mortal Kombat are Sam Raimi enthusiasts who can appreciate the comedy in over-the-top geysers of fake blood, which the film unleashes with increasing regularity as the fights get more serious." The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore said the film was "not exactly a knockout" and wrote: "A B-movie that would benefit immensely from some wit in the script and charisma in the cast, it's not as aggressively hacky as P.W.S.A.'s oeuvre, but it runs into problems he didn't face in 1995: Namely, the bar has been raised quite a bit for movies in which teams of superpowered young people have fights to save the universe." Korey Coleman and Martin Thomas of Double Toasted gave it a mixed to negative review. Both commented that the cast lacked any relatability and furthermore found the character of Cole Young to be bland and uninteresting. However, they did give praise to Lawson as Kano, whom they claimed "carried the movie" due to his more fun and witty dialogue.
James Marsh, of the South China Morning Post, gave a positive review, saying, "Director Simon McQuoid understands and honours the film's video game origins, including memorable lines of dialogue and signature fight moves throughout".
The film's producer Todd Garner revealed to Collider that there is a possibility of a Johnny Cage-centric standalone film. Taslim revealed that he is signed on for four sequels if the reboot is a success. McQuoid stated that he is open for returning to direct the sequel and revealed while filming on the first film that he banned sequel talks on the set and wanted to focus on making the first one. Co-writer Russo told Collider that he sees the reboot as a trilogy with the first film as a pre-tournament, the second film with the tournament and the third film with a post-tournament. Professional wrestler The Miz has openly expressed interest in the role of Johnny Cage and has even received the support of Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon.
- Lang, Brett (April 24, 2021). "'Mortal Kombat,' 'Demon Slayer' Locked in Fierce Box Office Battle". Variety. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
- "Mortal Kombat (2021)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
- "Mortal Kombat (2021)". The Numbers. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
- "Mortal Kombat (Reboot) – WGA Directory". findawriter.wgaeast.org. Archived from the original on April 11, 2020. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
- Romano, Nick (January 15, 2021). "Mortal Kombat first look: Inside the R-rated reboot, fatalities and all". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
- Russo, Greg [@WriterRusso] (July 9, 2019). "Bi Han" (Tweet). Retrieved December 17, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Perry, Spencer (September 16, 2019). "Production Begins on New Mortal Kombat Movie". ComingSoon.Net. Archived from the original on January 30, 2020. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
- "Young Matilda Kimber Added to the Cast of the Mortal Kombat Movie". Cog Connected. December 6, 2019. Archived from the original on December 7, 2019. Retrieved December 7, 2019.
- "Mortal Kombat (2021)". Warner Bros. Pictures. Archived from the original on January 17, 2021. Retrieved January 17, 2021.
- Fischer, Tyler (December 17, 2020). "Mortal Kombat Movie Confirms Kabal Actor". Comic Book. Archived from the original on December 15, 2020. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
- "Mortal Kombat Annihilation!". GamePro. No. 104. IDG. May 1997. p. 37.
- "Mortal Kombat". Threshold Entertainment. November 28, 2001. Archived from the original on November 28, 2001. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
- Morris, Clint (February 8, 2008). "Director talks Mortal Kombat reboot". Moviehole.net. Archived from the original on August 8, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2008.
- "WB Picks Up Rights to Midway Video Games". Comingsoon.net. July 6, 2009. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- Fahey, Mike (June 8, 2010). "If This Is The Next Mortal Kombat, Sign Us Up (Update)". Kotaku. Archived from the original on June 11, 2010. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
- Ryan, Jeri [@JeriLRyan] (June 8, 2010). "It's not a game trailer. Actually was made for the director to sell WB on his vision for a reimagined MK film" (Tweet). Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011 – via Twitter.
- Lesnick, Silas (September 29, 2011). "New Line to Reboot Mortal Kombat". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
- Staskiewicz, Keith (September 29, 2011). "New 'Mortal Kombat' movie 'needs to feel brutal,' says director". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- Karmali, Luke (November 11, 2012). "Warner Bros Confirms Mortal Kombat Movie Reboot". IGN. Archived from the original on January 22, 2021. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
- Fritz, Ben (September 30, 2011). "'Glee' director prepares for 'Mortal Kombat' film". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- Fritz, Ben (September 29, 2011). "New 'Mortal Kombat' movie coming via partnership of Warner units". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- Tancharoen, Kevin [@KTANCH] (October 25, 2013). "After 3 years of Kombat, I've decided to move on to other creative opportunities. I wish everyone involved in the movie big success. Thanks!"" (Tweet). Archived from the original on February 8, 2015. Retrieved July 29, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Lesnick, Silas (August 7, 2015). "Mortal Kombat Movie: James Wan to Produce". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on August 9, 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- Kroll, Justin (November 18, 2016). "'Mortal Kombat' Reboot Finds Director in Simon McQuoid (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on November 19, 2016. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
- Russo, Greg [@WriterRusso] (February 3, 2019). "Who's getting excited? I know I am. #MK #MortalKombat" (Tweet). Retrieved March 5, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Couch, Aaron (April 23, 2021). "Why Mortal Kombat Director Simon McQuoid Said No (At First)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 1, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Collis, Clark (May 14, 2019). "James Wan-produced Mortal Kombat movie to shoot later this year". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 18, 2019. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
- McNary, Dave (May 17, 2019). "New 'Mortal Kombat' Movie to Hit Theaters in 2021". Variety. Archived from the original on May 18, 2019. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
- Russo, Greg [@WriterRusso] (July 12, 2019). "Since it's already been stated by other members of the team, I'm gonna put this one to bed. MK WILL be R-Rated and for the first time EVER, FATALITIES will FINALLY be on the big screen (and no I'm not gonna say which ones) You'll just have to wait for the movie & see!!! ;)" (Tweet). Retrieved August 18, 2019 – via Twitter.
- "Mortal Kombat 2021 Movie Nearly Got An NC-17 Rating For Violence". ScreenRant. April 1, 2021.
- McNary, Dave (July 9, 2019). "'The Raid's' Joe Taslim to Star in 'Mortal Kombat' for New Line". Variety. Archived from the original on July 10, 2019. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
- Russo, Greg [@WriterRusso] (July 9, 2019). "Bi-Han" (Tweet). Archived from the original on July 19, 2019. Retrieved December 17, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Kit, Borys; Galuppo, Mia (August 16, 2019). "'Mortal Kombat' Movie Adds Fistful of Fighters (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 16, 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
- Galuppo, Mia (August 26, 2019). "'Mortal Kombat' Movie Finds Its Sonya Blade, Kano (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 26, 2019. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
- Kroll, Justin (August 27, 2019). "'Mortal Kombat' Reboot Finds Its Shang Tsung and Scorpion (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on August 27, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
- Fischer, Tyler (November 11, 2019). "Mortal Kombat Reboot Reveals New Character and Casting". Comic Book. Archived from the original on November 11, 2019. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
- "Mysterious New Mortal Kombat Reboot Role Revealed". GAMING. Archived from the original on December 31, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- Marc, Christopher (September 15, 2019). "The New 'Mortal Kombat' Movie Has Begun Production". HN Entertainment. Archived from the original on September 16, 2019. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
- Smith, Andrew (December 13, 2019). "Mortal Kombat Movie Wraps Filming: See the Cast's Reactions". IGN. Archived from the original on December 14, 2019. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
- "Mortal Kombat Elite on Instagram: "Looks like the mk movie is getting pushed back again. I cant say that I'm not surprised considering the current state of things. It should…"". Instagram. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
- Mendelovich, Yossy (April 6, 2021). "Mortal Kombat BTS Released: Shot on ALEXA LF Paired With Panavision Anamorphic Lenses". Y.M.Cinema - News & Insights on Digital Cinema. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
- Fischer, Tyler. "Mortal Kombat Reboot Award-Winning Composer Revealed". Comic Book. Archived from the original on January 22, 2020. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
- "'Mortal Kombat's Composer Began the Score Before Getting Hired — And Yes, It Includes the Iconic Theme". Collider. March 6, 2021. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
- Rizvi, Husain (April 8, 2021). "'Mortal Kombat' movie review: A fast-paced film with a thinning plot". Khaleej Times.
- Rubin, Rebecca (March 30, 2021). "'Mortal Kombat' Release Date Pushed Back". Variety. Archived from the original on March 30, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2021.
- Haring, Bruce. "'Mortal Kombat' Release Date Moved Up To Midwinter 2021 – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 27, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2019.
- Rubin, Rebecca (December 14, 2020). "Warner Bros. Shifts 'Mortal Kombat,' 'Tom and Jerry' Release Dates". Variety. Archived from the original on December 15, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
- Rubin, Rebecca; Donnelly, Matt (December 3, 2020). "Warner Bros. to Debut Entire 2021 Film Slate, Including 'Dune' and 'Matrix 4,' Both on HBO Max and In Theaters". Variety. Archived from the original on December 3, 2020. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- Jha, Lata (April 8, 2021). "Martial arts film 'Mortal Kombat' to release in India on 23 April". mint.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 26, 2021). "'Mortal Kombat' Is A KO For HBO Max, Says Samba TV". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
- "Mortal Kombat Movie Will Release in Japan This June". April 7, 2021.
- "'Mortal Kombat' first look: Inside the R-rated reboot, fatalities and all". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
- "New Mortal Kombat posters reveal first looks at Lord Raiden, Shang Tsung, and more". www.msn.com. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
- Countryman, Eli. "'Mortal Kombat' trailer promises plenty of blood, guts and fatalities". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
- "'Mortal Kombat' Reboot Drops Bloody Brutal Trailer". The Hollywood Reporter. February 18, 2021. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 25, 2021). "'Mortal Kombat' Red Band Trailer Breaks Viewership Records". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 3, 2021). "'The Suicide Squad' Red Band Trailer Clocks All-Time Record Traffic In First Week, Beating 'Mortal Kombat'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 25, 2021). "'Mortal Kombat' Conquers 'Demon Slayer' After Intense Brawl For No. 1 As Moviegoing Rebounds From Pandemic". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
- "Domestic 2021 Weekend 17". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 26, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 2, 2021). "'Mortal Kombat' & 'Demon Slayer' Continue To Duke It Out In Second Weekend Of Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 2, 2021.
- Nancy Tartaglione (April 11, 2021). "'Godzilla Vs Kong' Rises To $358M Worldwide; 'Mortal Kombat' Kicks Off With $11M Overseas – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
- "Box Office: 'Mortal Kombat' Nears $20M Overseas As 'Nobody' Nears $35M Global". Forbes. April 18, 2021. Retrieved April 18, 2021.
- "Mortal Kombat (2021)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
- "Mortal Kombat (2021) Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
- Duralde, Alonso (April 22, 2021). "'Mortal Kombat' Film Review: Silly Game Adaptation Is More 'Evil Dead' Than 'Enter the Dragon'". TheWrap. Retrieved April 22, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- DeFore, John (April 22, 2021). "'Mortal Kombat': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
- "MORTAL KOMBAT REVIEW | THE MITCHELLS VS THE MACHINES REVIEW | AND MORE – DT Power Hours LIVE @ 7:15 PM CST". Double Toasted. April 22, 2021. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
- Marsh, James (April 8, 2021). "Mortal Kombat movie review: gleefully violent video game adaptation a treat for fans of game franchise". South China Morning Post. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
- Lawrence, Gregory (March 3, 2021). "27 Things We Learned About 'Mortal Kombat' From Our Set Visit". Collider. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
- Lawrence, Gregory (April 21, 2021). "Fashion Chooses Safety Over Glitzy Parties for This Year's Oscars, as Chanel Nixes Iconic Dinner for Gift Boxes (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
- Stone, Sam (April 19, 2021). "Mortal Kombat Director Didn't Allow Any Sequel Discussions On the Set". CBR. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
- Lawrence, Gregory (April 23, 2021). "'Mortal Kombat' Ending Tease, Trilogy Plans, and Alternate Easter Eggs Explained by Writer Greg Russo". Collider. Retrieved April 24, 2021.
- Al-Ghamdi, Abdullah (April 25, 2021). "Mortal Kombat Co-Creator Ed Boon Supports Casting The Miz as Johnny Cage". Screen Rant. Retrieved April 25, 2021.