Mortal Kombat (1995), curiosities and origins of the film by Paul W. S. Anderson

Mortal Kombat (1995), curiosities and origins of the film by Paul W. S. Anderson

Mortal Kombat (1995)

The new Mortal Kombat film was recently announced, a reboot of the film of the same name released in 1995. The original Mortal Kombat, in fact, is a 1995 fantasy action film written by Kevin Droney, directed by Paul WS Anderson, produced by Lawrence Kasanoff and played by Robin Shou, Linden Ashby, Bridgette Wilson and Christopher Lambert. It is a free adaptation of the first titles in the Mortal Kombat fighting video game series and is the opening chapter of the film series from the same narrative universe. Let's find out its origins and some curiosities together in preparation for the new film coming in the next few days.

Plot and quotes from Mortal Kombat II

The plot of the film follows the warrior monk Liu Kang, l 'actor Johnny Cage and soldier Sonya Blade, all three led by the god Raiden (Rayden in the film) on their journey to battle the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung and his forces in a tournament to save Earth. The film's main source material was the original 1992 video game of the same title, but it also took inspiration from elements of the 1993 sequel, Mortal Kombat II.

The film's production came after the huge success of the film. videogame counterpart that prompted producer Lawrence Kasanoff to negotiate with the copyright holder company, WMS Industries, to immediately start a project plan. When WMS agreed to sell its rights, there were some still hidden elements that could not be mentioned in the film before the release of the second videogame chapter. One of these was the otherworldly dimension of Outworld, which had not yet been formally mentioned. Its importance, however, was remarkable because this is where Jax, Kitana and Shao Kahn, the game's final boss, make their official debut.

In the 1995 film, in fact, it is possible to observe Kahn for a short time in the final scene; he however he is identified only as "the Emperor". From the second game, however, some of the protagonists' moves derive entirely, including the power to steal the soul of Shang Tsung, shown for the first time in MKII as one of his Fatalities, or Liu Kang's Bicycle Kick move. The most memorable scenes, however, are Cage leaving an autographed photo of himself next to Scorpion's body in reference to his Friendship finishing move and the appearance of the Shadow Priests, very similar to the character of Shang Tsung especially for clothing. .

Production between exotic settings and casting problems

Filming began in August 1994 and ended in December 1994, but not without problems. In fact, within the cast there were unpleasant inconveniences and a tragic death. The first involved actress Cameron Diaz who was originally cast to play Sonya Blade, but then she had to give way to Bridgette Wilson due to a wrist injury. The disappearance, on the other hand, concerned Steve James who was originally cast as Jax, but died of pancreatic cancer a year before the film began production. Also, in the first few minutes of the film, Johnny Cage is directed in an action scene by a director, played by Sandy Helberg, who closely resembles the well-known Steven Spielberg. Initially, in fact, there was to be the latter, a fan of the series, but he had to give up due to problems of timing and organization with his other projects.

Despite these problems, everything went well. Outworld exterior scenes were filmed at the abandoned Kaiser Steel Mill (now known as Auto Club Speedway) in Fontana, California, while all of Goro's scenes were filmed in Los Angeles. Some shots were also done in Thailand, but these were only accessible by boat, so the cast, crew and equipment were transported on long canoe-style ships and this led location manager Gerrit Folsom to build an outbuilding in a secluded area near the set to alleviate the problem of repeated travel to and from the mainland. Filming locations in Thailand included Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Chaiwatthanaram and Wat Ratchaburana temples. Instead the arrival of Earth's competitors aboard boats, Liu Kang's meditation scene, and the fight between Liu Kang and Kitana were filmed at Railay Beach and Phra Nang Beach respectively.

In the course of production, they were filmed at Railay Beach and Phra Nang Beach, respectively. cut some scenes. Among these, the love story between Shou and Talisa Soto (Kitana) to prevent a substantially action film from showing too much romance, a brief battle between Sonya and Jade, one of Shang Tsung's servants, and a scene in which quest The latter grants the heroes a night to mourn the loss of Art Lean and bury him in the Garden of Statues, under the statue of Kung Lao. Not only cuts, but also posthumous additions, such as that of the Reptile character, originally omitted from the script, but later added in response to focus groups who weren't impressed with the film's early fight sequences.

Release and box office success

The film was originally slated for US release in May 1995, but was postponed to August. According to Kasanoff, this was due to the fact that New Line Cinema executives believed the work had the potential to become a summer hit. Months later it was distributed all over the world and arrived in Italy on November 10 of the same year. Two music albums were also released in August and October 1995: the first was Mortal Kombat: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack with all the official soundtrack of the film, the second was Mortal Kombat: Original Motion Picture Score or the instrumental version of the soundtrack. composed by George S. Clinton. The soundtrack album went platinum in less than a year, even reaching the tenth position on the Billboard 200.

Mortal Kombat's box office debut was incredible, immediately climbing to number one in the United States at the weekend of August 18, 1995. The gain was as much as 23.2 million dollars in a single weekend, exceeding its only competitor, The Baby-Sitters Club, by eight times. At the time, it was the second biggest hit of August after 1993's The Fugitive. The action film stayed at the top for three weeks, grossing $ 73 million in the United States alone and then earning more than $ 51 million per year. with a total of $ 124,741,822 total earned worldwide. The film so far is the seventh highest-grossing video game film adaptation ever in the United States, behind Sonic the Hedgehog, Detective Pikachu, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Angry Birds Movie, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Pokémon: The First Movie.

Sequel and other related projects

The sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation was released in 1997, directed by John R. Leonetti (director of photography of the first Mortal Kombat). Only Robin Shou and Talisa Soto reprized their roles, while the others were discarded. The film also stars Brian Thompson, Sandra Hess, Lynn “Red” Williams, Irina Pantaeva, Marjean Holden and James Remar. Its plot is largely an adaptation of the Mortal Kombat 3 video game, which follows a band of warriors as they attempt to save Earth from Shao Kahn himself. Although the story picks up where the first film left off, keeping only the aforementioned main characters led to a landmark failure at the box office. As a result, the development of the third installment was discontinued and never went beyond pre-production.

On April 11, 1995, New Line Home Video, Turner Home Entertainment and Threshold Entertainment released an animated film tie -in on VHS and Laserdisc, titled Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins. Serving as a prequel to the film, it follows protagonists Liu Kang, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade as they travel on a mysterious boat to the Mortal Kombat tournament. Along the way they meet Raiden, who gives them some tips on how to survive the tournament and defeat Shang Tsung and his army of Tarkatan minions.

Upon arriving on the island where the battles take place, Raiden tells the origins by Shang Tsung, Goro, Scorpion, Sub-Zero and the Great Kung Lao between the fight scenes. The animated film featured a combination of traditional animation, motion capture and CGI to explain the origins of some of Mortal Kombat's main characters, as well as a fifteen-minute behind-the-scenes documentary on the cast of the first installment of the film franchise. Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins was later included on the Mortal Kombat Blu-ray released in April 2011.

A novel and two television series were also released. The first was nothing more than the official book of the film, so much so that it presented the same title. The authors made themselves known under the pseudonym of the well-known humanist and theologian Martin Delrio, but their real names were James D. Macdonald and Debra Doyle. The play was based on an early version of Kevin Droney's script and as such included several deleted or unmovable scenes, such as the aforementioned fight between Sonya Blade and Jade. The two television series, on the other hand, were the animated series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and the live-action series Mortal Kombat: Conquest both produced by Threshold Entertainment between 1996 and 1999.

Powered by Blogger.