Almost exactly 10 years to this day Warner Brothers acquired Midway, and with it the Mortal Kombat Movie license — but they didn’t exactly have big plans for the film franchise until recently, and that’s because nobody really wants to make R rated movies. That’s until Deadpool changed the game.
It’s been a big year for Warner Brothers with the announcement of a Wachowski helmed Matrix 4 film starring Keanu Reeves, a hard reset to the DC Extended Universe and now an R-rated Mortal Kombat movie that fans have been begging for.
When New Line Cinema released their film adaptation of the hit fighting game, Mortal Kombat, they decided to go a much tamer direction. The movie lacked the most notable thing in about the video-game; the gore. New Line Cinema feared making an R18+ rated movie would mean less tickets sold. This was the general censuses in the film industry and for the longest time nobody released R18+ mainstream films.
Enter Ryan Reynolds. It was always his dream to play his favourite Marvel superhero, Deadpool. But there was only one problem; Deadpool was considered too violent to be a mainstream superhero and the studio didn’t believe it would be successful. Sure, they tried to include some botched up version of Deadpool in the X-Men movie, even starring Ryan Reynolds himself, but it didn’t fly with the fans.
Tim Miller and Ryan Reynolds decided to take matters into their own hands by leaking a some test footage online, and fans absolutely loved it. Fox had no choice but to green-light an R rated superhero movie, and fortunately, and obviously, it paid off. The film was a financial and critical success. It earned almost USD$800 million against a USD$60 million budget. It was also the highest grossing R-rated film, the highest grossing X-Men film, and the ninth highest grossing film of 2016… proving that their is a market for R18+ films.
This has set the stage for other producers and more studios are willing to take a chance on R-rated films. Producers are even calling the Mortal Kombat reboot ‘an R-rated Avengers‘ so it looks like we will final R-rated Mortal Kombat movie we deserve.