Mortal Kombat graced the silver screen back in 1995. Recent comments from its original director suggest there were budget cuts, almost losing its fight scenes.
Mortal Kombat The Movie got a mediocre critical response back when it was first released. Even then, the game is a cult classic, becoming a box-office success and beloved among fans.
During his New York Comic-Con panel, director Paul W.S. Anderson revealed that they received budget cuts for the movie. The eleventh-hour cuts were so drastic that they almost lost their fight scenes.
Director received a late-filming budget cut
In his revelation, Anderson claims that they got $3 million off their original budget. Only after their positive audience test did they get the fight scenes they wanted.
“What happened was right before we started shooting, Bob Shaye, who was running New Line at the time, he decided that we had too much money and I disagreed, obviously, as a filmmaker,” Anderson remembered.
“We had to shoot the story we had. We had to get that on screen. So some of the fight scenes that were due to be done and take a week, we had to do in a couple of days. So all the fights were there, but we couldn’t deliver the fights that I originally planned.”
Their test audience gave off a positive response to the movie, but they wanted more fights for the movie. In a film centered around a fighting game, more combat is never a bad thing.
“The fans came back and said, ‘There’s not enough fighting in the film. It’s Mortal Kombat. Where’s the combat?’ So we basically went and we shot all the stuff that we cut out of the original version of the movie. We shot it all later. So it wasn’t additional photography. It was kind of doing what we really wanted to do in the first place.”
“MK the Movie” was an icon
Mortal Kombat was iconic, not for its storytelling but for its fight scenes. The battle between Scorpion and Johnny Cage and Liu Kang vs Shang Tsung is memorable. These scenes rarely came to fruition.
“For example, the Scorpion fight was always there, but it kind of ended when Johnny did the shadow kick and kind of knocked out Scorpion,” noted Anderson. “So it felt like the beginning of a fight but it didn’t feel like a real kind of three-ring circus of a fight. Which is then what we ended up shooting when we did the additional photography.
“And the same with Liu versus Reptile. That fight started, but we then continued it and just made more of a meal of it. Then we tested the movie a second time and people just absolutely loved it.”
Mortal Kombat wouldn’t be the same if the executive meddling pushed through. While critics say it’s a bust, it’s quite an iconic movie that any nerd would love.
Featured image courtesy Movieclips Classic Trailers/Youtube Screenshot