A follow-up to 2021's Mortal Kombat is in the works, and the film's writer says fans are playing a significant role in the development process
Movie studios have been turning video games into feature films for decades, with one of the earliest examples being Mortal Kombat in 1995. Following the much-maligned sequel Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, big screen adaptations of the popular fighting game were put on ice for more than 20 years. Finally, the franchise was brought back to movie theaters last year with Mortal Kombat, which also had a same day release on HBO Max. The reboot film managed to gross $83 million worldwide during a period when the pandemic heavily impacted movie going around the world, which was good enough for Warner Bros. to greenlight a sequel.
Mortal Kombat 2 is currently in development, and is being written by a familiar name to Marvel fans. Jeremy Slater is the creator of Moon Knight, and also wrote the screenplay for 2015's Fantastic Four, and is now working on the script for the Mortal Kombat sequel. In a recent interview with Discussing Film, Slater shared an update on the development of Mortal Kombat 2, saying the response to the first film is helping shape the sequel:
"I can't really share any details about it, but we want to make something that the fans really love and I think it's a really great creative team. They have been listening to the fan reactions and they know what fans loved about the first movie and what they didn't. Everyone is creatively setting out to really make a sequel that tops the original in every way. We're still very early in the process, but the fans should be really excited."
While Mortal Kombat earned a less than stellar 54% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the audience score was a much more positive 86%. The film also received a B+ CinemaScore, showing audiences enjoyed it overall, but it wasn't a total home run. While the action was stellar, the fact there wasn't an actual tournament in Mortal Kombat was one of the main criticisms lobbied at the film. Adding in that element along with a few more classic characters could help Mortal Kombat 2 be a much more successful film, especially with the box office in a much better place now than it was in 2021.
Mortal Kombat 2 Still Needs a Director
The Mortal Kombat sequel is still very early in the development process, and doesn't actually have a director attached at this time. Simon McQuoid made his directorial debut by helming the first film, but as of now he hasn't committed to return to the sequel. McQuoid is developing his next feature Omega with Sony, so the director's schedule may be too full to come back to the Mortal Kombat franchise. As a result, there's no clear timetable for when Mortal Kombat 2 will hit theaters, and a release window most likely won't be known until a director comes aboard.
Not much is known about the sequel's story, but a handful of characters have been confirmed to return. Jax, Sonya Blade, and Shang Tsung will all be back, and original character Cole Young is also expected to be part of Mortal Kombat 2. The end of Mortal Kombat also teased the addition of fan-favorite Johnny Cage, who was notably absent from the film. With 30 years of video games to pull characters and storylines from, there are a number of directions Slater and the rest of the creative team can take the Mortal Kombat franchise moving forward.