James Wan speaking at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con International, for "Aquaman", at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Photo: Gage Skidmore

Meet a Dork: Producer James Wan on Mortal Kombat

by Neil Bui

Welcome to Meet a Dork, a feature on Dorkaholics where we get to know a fellow dork somewhere in the world. Through Meet a Dork, we hope to not only establish new friendships with other fans but showcase the vastness of our community, the diversity of personalities, and the unique qualities of each person.  This week, we have James Wan, producer of the upcoming Mortal Kombat film, who was unable to attend a press event as he was involved with the pre-production of Aquaman 2 but managed to answer a few questions for us over email.

Why did you feel now is the right time to make a Mortal Kombat movie?

James Wan (JW): It’s been over 25 years since the first feature film came out, and fans have been pretty vocal asking for another big-screen entry.

As a fan myself of the games and movies, I, too, wanted to see another theatrical version of this and felt it was time again to revisit this IP that has been kept relevant in the game world but not as much in the feature world.

From the get-go, Todd Garner, my Atomic Monster team and I, were excited and gung-ho about creating a new, updated version with today’s filmmaking technology whilst being respectful to the fantasy tone, violent action, and gore of the game that fans have come to love and, at the same time, bring these vivid characters and stories back to the big screen in a modern, exciting way for a whole new generation who may not be as familiar with the films as we were growing up.

When you play Mortal Kombat, who do you play as and, in that case, do you identify with that character in the movie?

JW: The recent Mortal Kombat allows you to play so many different characters—I’ve played Black Manta in the latest one—but I love to go back to the old school, OG characters that I used to play, and that was either Liu Kang or Scorpion.

What was cool with Liu Kang is that he was heavily inspired by Bruce Lee, and so when I play as Liu Kang, I basically get to live out my fantasy of being Bruce Lee!

Mortal Kombat will be available on April 23rd, 2021. What do you hope to see in the film? Let us know in the comments below.

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