‘Mortal Kombat’ is Officially the Franchise’s First Live-Action Movie With an “R” Rating; Kabal Confirmed!

One of the strange things about the two Mortal Kombat movies from the 1990s was that they were both rated PG-13, contrary to the gory violence the video games have become known for. Thankfully, this year’s reboot of the feature film franchise isn’t skimping on the gore or the brutal Fatalities, and this week the film has officially received its “R” rating.

New Line Cinema’s James Wan-produced Mortal Kombat has been Rated “R” for…

“Strong bloody violence and language throughout, and some crude references.”

Of course, we already knew this even before the official MPA rating was announced this week, as the trailer was bloody as hell and we had been promised an “R” rating from the beginning. True to that rating, we’ve also been promised an “unapologetically brutal” return to the big screen for the Mortal Kombat franchise. Oh yes. There will be blood. And a whole lot of it.

Mortal Kombat comes to theaters and HBO Max on April 16, 2021.

Also check out a new banner below, highlighting the main fighters. And yes, that would indeed appear to be Kabal on the far right, a character hidden in the marketing up to this point!

The film is helmed by award-winning Australian commercial filmmaker Simon McQuoid, marking his feature directorial debut, and produced by James Wan (The Conjuring universe films, Aquaman), Todd Garner (Into the Storm, Tag), McQuoid and E. Bennett Walsh (Men in Black: International, The Amazing Spider-Man 2).

In Mortal Kombat, ”MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage—or why Outworld’s Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family’s safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu KangKung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana—the immense power from within his soul—in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all?”

The diverse international cast reflects the global nature of the brand, with talent spanning the worlds of film, television and martial arts. The ensemble includes Lewis Tan (“Deadpool 2,” Netflix’s “Wu Assassins”) as Cole Young; Jessica McNamee (“The Meg”) as Sonya Blade; Josh Lawson (“Bombshell”) as Kano; Tadanobu Asano (“Midway”) as Lord Raiden; Mehcad Brooks (TV’s “Supergirl”) as Jackson “Jax” Bridges; Ludi Lin (“Aquaman”) as Liu Kang; with Chin Han (“Skyscraper”) as Shang Tsung; Joe Taslim (“Star Trek Beyond”) as Bi-Han and Sub-Zero; and Hiroyuki Sanada (“Ringu”) as Hanzo Hasashi and Scorpion. Also featured are Max Huang as Kung Lao; Sisi Stringer as Mileena; Matilda Kimber as Emily Young; and Laura Brent as Allison Young.

McQuoid directed from a screenplay by Greg Russo and Dave Callaham (“Wonder Woman 1984”), from a story by Oren Uziel (“Mortal Kombat: Rebirth”) and Russo, based on the videogame created by Ed Boon and John Tobias. Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Victoria Palmeri, Michael Clear, Jeremy Stein and Larry Kasanoff served as executive producers.