James Wan supports the wild return to the big screen of one of the most popular video games of all history. We spoke to its newcomer director, Simon McQuoid.
“Five years … Yes. The world did not believe that Donald Trump would become president of the United States, that he would deny his defeat in re-election and that we would suffer this global pandemic. I don’t think anyone has spent as much time playing a Mortal Kombat game as we have. ” Simon McQuoid (Perth, Australia, 1984), a star in the world of commercials, thus remembers his arrival (replacing another director) in a project that dates back a decade.
A paradise with blows of violence
10 years give for changes in the script, in the cast …, but if we finally have a new Mortal Kombat we owe it to the tenacity of James Wan as executive producer. “Maybe it’s more his movie than mine,” confesses McQuoid. “He never stopped being in the project, contributing ideas, listening to what others gave him and supporting the film we wanted to make. He he convinced the studio that the extreme and graphic violence of the games should be untouchable, and it has been.
Duel to the death in the Outer World
“I wanted to make an entertainment, the best possible commercial product,” says the director. “I have not tried to magnify the material from which we started or to elevate it intellectually. It is an adventure story, even classic in its almost Arthurian initiatory development, based on a succession of violent and spectacular fights. Mortal Kombat has been like a luxury course and very well paid ”.
Innovate by being faithful
“I had never played Mortal Kombat or seen any of the animated movies or series, so at first I thought they were wrong hiring me,” says the director about this arcade, a real money-making machine since its emergence in 1992. In that universe, in a virgin way, it has given me the opportunity, being faithful to the video game, to do something different. But with an ethnically correct cast (American, Japanese, Indonesian …), in which the vast majority of the performers were martial arts experts, and surrounded by a first-rate technical team ”, concludes McQuoid.
This article appears published in the issue of PHOTOGRAMS for April 2021.