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New Mortal Kombat movie casts The Raid actor as Sub-Zero

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Casting for the MK reboot is off to a great start

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A still of Sub-Zero from the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie Threshold Entertainment/New Line Cinema

The first role cast for the new Mortal Kombat movie is promising: Joe Taslim, known for this martial arts action work in movies like The Raid will play Sub-Zero, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Taslim had starring roles in The Raid as Sergeant Jaka and The Night Comes for Us as Ito, and featured in two Hollywood blockbusters: Star Trek Beyond and Fast & Furious 6. The Indonesian actor/martial artist will join the production when it starts filming in Australia later this year.

Mortal Kombat is slated for a March 5, 2021 release date.

Joe Taslim in a suit
Joe Taslim
Barry King/FilmMagic

James Wan (Saw, Aquaman) is producing the new Mortal Kombat, with commercial director Simon McQuaid directing. In addition to commercials for Netflix and Duracell, McQuoid directed the “Michael” ad for Sony’s PlayStation 3, in which characters like Nathan Drake, Kratos, and Solid Snake praise a heroic player named Michael, and Halo 3’s “Enemy Weapon” spot, in which two elderly former UNSC soldiers wax nostalgic about the futuristic weapons of war.

Writer Greg Russo wrote the script for the new Mortal Kombat, which may diverge from the fighting game franchise’s lore in some interesting ways. Hopefully it gives Sub-Zero — who was killed by Liu Kang and a bucket of water in the original Mortal Kombat movie — plenty to do, given Taslim’s casting.

Warner Bros.’ New Line Cinema division has been trying to reboot the Mortal Kombat movie franchise for the better part of the last decade. Mortal Kombat: Legacy director Kevin Tancharoen was once attached to the project but dropped out in 2013. In 2015, New Line brought in director James Wan to produce the reboot, with writers Dave Callaham (Doom, The Expendables) and Oren Uziel (Mortal Kombat: Legacy, 22 Jump Street) attached to write. Russo wrote the most recent version of the script.

New Line produced two films based on the Midway fighting game franchise in the ’90s: Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Warner Bros. released two seasons of the web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy in 2011 and 2013, based on the success of Tancharoen’s unauthorized short film, Mortal Kombat: Rebirth.