How the film "Mortal Kombat" was filmed: footage from filming and interesting facts (20 photos + 1 video)
Quite often, film adaptations of games fail, but not the film "Mortal Kombat", released in 1995. This film became a cult film, and many boys of the 90s associated themselves with the characters from this film.
1. The director of the film was Paul Anderson, but he was not invited to this position immediately, but only after they saw his film “Shopping” (1994). The director was stunned by this offer, because he was a fan of the game "Mortal Kombat".
2. Initially, the film was supposed to end with a eulogy from Lord Raiden, but then the creators decided to film an additional scene with Shao Kahn in order to end the film more epically and hint at a sequel, which eventually came out a couple of years later, but from a different director and with a different cast besides Robin Shu (Liu Kang) and Talisa Soto (Kitana).
3. Initially, Jean-Claude Van-Damme was invited to play the role of Johnny Cage, since in fact it was he who became the prototype of this character for the original game. But he refused in favor of another film based on the game "Street fighter", which, unlike "Mortal Kombat", did not gain popularity. You can read more about this in my separate article.
After Van Damme's refusal, the role was offered to Bruce Lee's son, Brandon Lee, but he, unfortunately, died during the filming of The Crow.
Then actor Linden Ashby was invited to play this role, who specially trained to be in shape and show all his acquired karate and taekwondo skills. True, in most of the fight scenes he was still replaced by a stunt double.
4. Initially, they planned to cast the unknown actress Cameron Diaz, who had just made her debut in the film “The Mask”, for the role of Sonya Blade, interesting facts about which you can read here.
Diaz agreed to the role of the young operative and even began training, but unfortunately, she broke her wrist, which is why she was unable to take part in the filming of “Mortal Kombat.” Then actress Bridget Wilson was cast in this role. I don't know how Cameron Lias would have handled this role, but Bridget Wilson makes a great Sonya.
5. After the relative success of the film, Paul Anderson was offered to direct a sequel, but he refused because he wanted to try himself in a new film, and not in a sequel to an existing one. But when the disastrous, and I’m not afraid to say this word, sequel came out, Paul Anderson said that he probably should have made a second part after all.
6. Director Paul Anderson was so worried that his film would fail and everyone would criticize him that he decided to go to Hawaii and wait out the premiere there, so as not to see or hear the opinions of haters. But when he learned that the film grossed $23 million in its first weekend alone, he regretted his decision.
7. Many people know that the movie "Mortal Kombat" is very different from the original game. Paul Anderson said that initially the script was close to the plot of the game. But if they had made the film from the original script, the film would have been rated R (mature), but they needed a teen rating (PG-13).
7. Robin Shu, who played the role of Liu Kang, did not believe that the film adaptation of the game with such a stupid name could work, but on the advice of his agent, he still went to the casting. Poor Robin auditioned 7 times before he was cast, and in the end it was he who got the role of Liu Kang. Moreover, he was almost the only actor who starred in the failed sequel of the film.
8. It was especially difficult with Prince Goro. This huge animatronic doll cost $1 million to create. In order to manage it, it took as many as 13 people, each of whom was responsible for their own area. Well, the final touches, such as appearance and lip synchronization when delivering a speech, were done with the help of effects.
9. Sean Connery was offered to play Lord (God) Raiden, but he refused because he wanted to take some time off from filming. Then this role was offered to Christopher Lambert.
Lambert accepted the role only after seeing Paul Anderson's first film, which he was delighted with, and after learning that he would not need to train for this film, since there would be no action scenes with him.
10. Martial artist Chris Kasamasa was supposed to play an ordinary ninja from the extras. But during the casting, the director and producers liked him so much that they offered him the significant role of Scorpio. By the way, Chris returned to the role of the scorpion in the Mortal Kombat series. True, I admit honestly, this series did not appeal to me, unlike the original film.
But the famous phrase of Scorpio “Get over here” belongs to one of the creators of the game, Ed Boon. It was he who voiced Scorpio in the film.
12. Many of the actors who played characters for the game "Mortal Kombat 3" wanted to take part in the filming, but in the end it didn’t work out for them, in particular due to the lack of acting experience. You can learn more about who played the characters in the game "Mortal kombat 3" and what they look like now in my video.
11. Bridget Wilson, who played Sonya, performed all her own stunts in the film. But since she had no experience and no time to train, all her action scenes were moved to the end of filming so that the actress could prepare.
12. When test audiences of the first version of the film said that there was too little fighting in the film, it was decided to film an additional fight between Liu Kang and Reptile.
And by the way, during this very battle, Robin Shu, who played Liu Kang, broke two of his ribs. But at that time he did not tell anyone about this, so as not to interrupt filming. The only thing he did was quietly ask Keith Cook, who played Reptile, not to hit him on the right side.
In addition, the fight between Johnny Cage and Scorpio was increased. In the original version, Johnny Cage defeated Scorpio in the forest, but later an additional scene was filmed in Scorpio's lair.
And what's most interesting is that most fans believe that these two fights are the best and most entertaining in the film.
13. At the time of filming, Christopher Lambert was already an established and highly sought-after actor, so he cost the studio the most. And in order to stay within the budget, the creators decided to shoot only close-ups with Lambert in the studio, and use a double for the scenes in Thailand.
But Lambert offered an excellent option. Being a fan of the game, he said that he was ready to star in all the scenes for the same money, and in the end he did it, and even threw a party after the end of filming. This move even upset his agents.
14. Before the final fight, Liu Kang and Shang Tsung greet each other with gestures, but each of them shows a different gesture. Many people think that these gestures depend on the fighting style, but in reality everything is much simpler. Liu Kang's gesture means respect for his opponent, while the sorcerer's gesture on the contrary means disrespect or sorrow.
15. Steven Spielberg was offered to play a small cameo as the director making a film with Johnny Cage. Stephen was delighted with this offer, as he himself was a fan of this series of games. But, unfortunately, he was unable to take part in the filming. However, the director was made to look like him.
16. Liu Kang's battle with Sub-Zero was supposed to be more acrobatic, but due to the fact that Robin Shu could not do what he had planned, he simply went at Freezer, screaming like mad. o Paul Anderson liked this performance so much that he decided to insert this scene into the final version of the film.
17. With a budget of $18 million, the film grossed $122 million worldwide. It was a success, so the bosses decided it would be a good idea tolisten to the continuation.
But as already mentioned, Paul Anderson and almost all the actors refused to star in the sequel, the plot turned out to be boring and absurd, the special effects became much worse, despite the fact that the film’s budget was already 30 million dollars. As a result, the film earned only $51 million against a budget of $30 million, making it a failure. For those who don't know, for a film to break even, it must gross, on average, twice its budget.