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Mortal Kombat Director Reveals How The Movie Could Have Been Even More Violent

The hype for the new "Mortal Kombat" has both movie fans and gamers ready for some intense action when the film releases in theaters and on HBO Max this Friday, April 23. Between various trailers and a seven-minute sneak peek of the film, there is plenty of buzz surrounding the martial arts mayhem and its cast of unique characters. Fan favorites including Mileena and Scorpion, along with new protagonist Cole Young are just some of the names that will appear. Reviews of the film are already pouring in, although regular viewers are eager to judge it for themselves.

Based on the video game franchise known for its bloody violence and excessive gore, there's no surprise that "Mortal Kombat" has an R rating. In fact, fans would likely be disappointed by anything less. According to the film's director, they still had to be careful with how far to take things. After all, it would be difficult to get some of the game's famous "fatalities" past the censors. In a recent interview, director Simon McQuoid talked about some of the explosive battles we will see in the film — and how much was held back.

Mortal Kombat required a delicate balance

McQuoid sat down with Variety to discuss his feature directorial debut, including the pressures of taking on such a beloved franchise. Although not much of a gamer himself, he strived to give "Mortal Kombat" fans a feast for the eyes. Addressing the amount of blood used in the movie, McQuoid said, "It was messy. Messier for the makeup team than it was for me."

When asked about the inevitable need for violence in a film like "Mortal Kombat," McQuoid was candid. "We knew there was a line we couldn't cross," the director said. "It was a constant calibration, balance and discussion. There were a couple ideas early on that we knew if we did them justice, if we shot them the way they should be shot, they were possibly too full-on and could get us in trouble."

When making a movie like "Mortal Kombat," blood and violence are important discussion topics. The 1995 movie, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, was notably less gory than its source material, earning a PG-13 rating. While that film was meant to appeal to a younger audience, this clean-up of the normally brutal title had die-hard fans feeling let down. Though Anderson's version has since become a cult classic, McQuoid's update looks like it will be a truer adaptation for fans of the franchise. We'll be able to judge it for ourselves in two days.