Mortal Kombat, the popular arcade beat’em-up from the 1990s, could be heading back to the cinema in a new and potentially ground-breaking sequel based on the computer game franchise.
Movies based on computer games have proven notoriously difficult to master with everything from Street Fighter to Max Payne and more recent efforts like Need for Speed all missing the mark.
But the first Mortal Kombat movie was different.
Released back in 1995, the film was directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, who would go on to earn high praise for sci-fi horror favourite Event Horizon.
Now better known for his work on the Resident Evil and Death Race movie franchises, the film was also notable for featuring Highlander star Christopher Lambert.
Cast in the role of popular character Raiden, the God of Lightning, Lambert spoke exclusively to loaded this week, ahead of the release of a 4k-restored version of Highlander.
Looking back, Lambert still views it as “one of the good computer game movies.”
“Mortal Kombat was an arcade game, a beat’em up and because of that they were forced to create a story rather than simply relying on the game’s plot,” he explained.
But despite the film’s success – it made $122.1 million off a budget of just $18 million – Lambert turned down the opportunity to reprise his role in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
At the time, it was reported that he opted against the movie due to scheduling conflicts but the Highlander icon remembers things a little differently.
“I didn’t want to do it because I didn’t think the script was very good,” he tells loaded
“I didn’t like it. I liked the first one.”
But anyone thinking that’s the end of Lambert’s involvement in the Mortal Kombat universe may yet be proven mistaken.
Back in 2011, New Line Cinema announced plans to reboot the franchise with a new film.
And, in a loaded exclusive, Lambert revealed that he has been in talks about reprising the role of Raiden for a Mortal Kombat film that could redefine the computer game movie sub-genre as we know it.
“They have a great idea for the third one,” he said. “It will be very different.”
Though details remain scarce, and the film remains very much at the developmental stage, Lambert revealed that the new-look Mortal Kombat movie could have one particular ace up its sleeve: inter-dimensional time travel.
Lambert pitched it thusly:
“We are going to be travelling through time but in a very special way. So imagine characters having a battle in the middle of London and then whoosh, you smash through a window and find yourself on the hood of a New York cab.”
Sounding like a special effects-laden cross between The Matrix and Jason Bourne, if made, the film could bring Mortal Kombat movies kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
And we, for one, cannot wait.
The 4k restored version of Highlander is available to download now available on DVD and Blu-Ray from Monday July 11.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.