The pandemic has resulted in lots of uncertainty and rescheduling for all kinds of events and releases, and a deadly martial arts tournament that could decide the fate of the planet is no exception. Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinemas has announced a new release date for 2021's Mortal Kombat, a reboot of the fighting game franchise's film series that withered away back in the '90s.
Director Simon McQuoid's Mortal Kombat—nope, there's still no subtitle to distinguish it from the 1995 Paul W. S. Anderson adaptation—will now debut on April 16, 2021. The premiere date has been shuffled a couple times now: first it was in March, then Jan., and now the move to April comes after Warner's industry-shaking decision to go for simultaneous theatrical and digital releases on all its 2021 movies.
Yes, you won't need to risk going to a theater in April in order to see the new Mortal Kombat when it comes out, as it'll also be available on HBO Max for the first month of its release. It's an unorthodox release plan that has angered many for various reasons, including directors Denis Villeneuve (2021's Dune) and Christopher Nolan (of Tenet and The Game Awards), but for all the negative effects it might have on the movie industry, at least you won't need to risk getting sick to see some fatalities.
Shortly before the massive HBO Max release plan was announced, Variety reported that Warner was considering a simultaneous streaming and theatrical release for Mortal Kombat before instead leaning toward a delay. Now, with both a delay and dual premiere in store, it'll serve as both a test for Warner's streaming gambit and an early bellwether for theater recovery as vaccines are distributed over the next few months.
As for what we can expect from this reboot, well, we've still not seen a trailer for it yet. With Saw co-creator James Wan attached as its producer it'll surely be a violent spectacle befitting the series, but this'll also be McQuoid's first feature film. He directed a damn good ad for Halo 3 back in the day, but we'll have to wait a bit longer to see what he has in store for Earthrealm.
If you're interested in some major 1995 nostalgia, Mortal Kombat 11 recently got new skins with re-recorded voice lines from the movie's actors for Raiden, Johnny Cage, and Sonya Blade. A next-gen upgrade, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, is also available now.