While the Mortal Kombat video games are infamous for their graphic violence, the movies based on the franchise have been comparatively tame and bloodless. The upcoming cinematic reboot of Mortal Kombat, however, will be rated R, according to the people making it.
Screenwriter Greg Russo, a self-professed fan of the Mortal Kombat franchise, confirmed the film’s intended R rating on Twitter, adding that the series’ gory fatalities will appear onscreen.
“Since it’s already been stated by other members of the team, I’m gonna put this one to bed,” Russo said. “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!!!”
The vast majority of Mortal Kombat video games have carried an M rating — Game Boy ports and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe being some of the rare exceptions — but 1995’s Mortal Kombat and 1997’s Mortal Kombat Annihilation had box office-friendlier PG-13 ratings. (New Line’s direct-to-video cartoon Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins was even tamer and rated PG.) We can likely thank the box-office success of violent R-rated films like Deadpool and John Wick for Mortal Kombat’s adherence to the games’ level of blood and guts.
Mortal Kombat is slated to hit movie theaters on March 5, 2021. James Wan (Saw, Aquaman) is producing the film for Warner Bros.’ New Line, with commercial director Simon McQuaid directing. Filmmakers recently announced that Joe Taslim (The Raid, The Night Comes for Us) will star in the film as Sub-Zero.