Mortal Kombat director Simon McQuoid has explained why the new movie is changing the backstory for Jax’s cybernetic arms. The film, releasing on April 16, features a large cast of characters from the popular video game franchise, including Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada), Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), Kano (Josh Lawson), and Kung Lao (Max Huang). Many of those characters are entering McQuoid’s reboot mostly unchanged, but some key pieces have been altered.

When Jax Briggs (played in the new film by Mehcad Brooks) was first introduced in Mortal Kombat II, he has nothing of the cybernetic modifications that became his trademark later on. Different stories of how Jax acquired his robot arms have appeared in the franchise over the years, from voluntary upgrading to being ripped apart by the sorcerer Ermac. The new film incorporates a new origin story, whereby Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) rips off Jax’s human arms with his ice magic, leading to the cyborg enhancements.


Speaking recently with IGN, McQuoid discussed the decision to make Sub-Zero the source of Jax’s trauma. “In this film, we needed to drive a few certain characters and narratives,” McQuoid said, “and so given that [Jax losing his arms] had been done a couple of different ways in the past, we felt we had a bit of license to do that again here,” McQuoid said. With Sub-Zero cast as a major villain in the new film, it certainly makes sense to tie him into some of the other characters’ backstories in significant ways. “We’ve really tried to be very truthful and true to the canon where we can be,” McQuoid continued, “but every now and again, we might deviate slightly where we felt that it was okay to do so.”

The new Mortal Kombat has already revealed some of its other divergences from the source material, such as introducing the new character Cole Young (Lewis Tan), Kano being a Mortal Kombat hero, and the apparent absence of Johnny Cage. For the most part, however, the film seems to be staying true to the games. The trailer’s fatalities harken back to the games’ brutal battles in ways that fans of the game have hoped to see brought to life on screen, sparking high anticipation for the movie’s release.

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Sub-Zero plays a major role in the new Mortal Kombat, which seems to deviate from past iterations. There are two Sub-Zeros in the games – an older brother who becomes the evil, corrupted ninja Noob Saibot, and a younger brother who generally plays a hero’s role. The reboot’s version seems to be pulling from the former, though it’s also possible that Cole Young is the younger Sub-Zero in disguise. Mortal Kombat releases in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16.

Source: IGN

Key Release Dates
  • Mortal Kombat (2021)Release date: Apr 23, 2021
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