The epic stories of Mortal Kombat return to the bloodied, ultra-violent worlds of Earthrealm, Outworld, and Netherrealm in the next installment of Warner Bros.’ Animation’s Mortal Kombat Legends series. Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind follows the prideful, arrogant warrior Kenshi Takahashi as he stands against the likes of a revitalized Kano and his Black Dragon. However, after becoming blind and stranded in the wastelands, Kenshi is met and trained by the last Lin Kuei member alive, Kuai Liang aka Sub-Zero. With the help of Kuai Liang, Kenshi must learn how to adapt to his new circumstances and stop Kano’s expansion before the world is taken over by the Black Dragon.
At New York Comic Con, we were invited to a roundtable with the cast and creative team behind Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind. The cast present included Ron Yuan, who portrays Kuai Liang/Sub-Zero, and Courtenay Taylor, who portrays Kira. The creative team present included screenwriter Jeremy Adams and director and producer Rick Morales. Adams and Morales provided developmental insight into how they wanted to create the isolated story flow, world, and action of Snow Blind while Yuan and Taylor provided the impacts that their characters have within Snow Blind and the wider Mortal Kombat Legends universe.
THH: Kenshi is a very important character to the story and we see that master-apprentice duo develop in that movie. Would you have liked to see anything from that relationship that you weren’t able to explore in this movie?
ADAMS: There’s a tendency because I’m a writer and I’m extroverted and I want to over write like I would do a comic series of them training for a long period of time, probably. Within the context of the story, I think it is what it needed to be and, without spoiling anything, by the end of it, there’s an element of passing down this mantle of being this kind of guardian of Earthrealm in a way. I don’t think there was anything in particular, like, more I wanted to see except that just because the things I like, the serialized storytelling, I would love it. You know, in my heart, it would be like, “Oh, this should be fun: it’s a two-movie thing or spend more time there.” But, we have such limited time constraints on these things and this one in particular, like the last one, it’s like the longest script ever and we had to cut like 40 minutes out (laughs) and it was just crazy. So this one, we’re like, “No, we really need to be focused and we really need to tell a kind of smaller tale with more dramatic stakes and also rely on the mythology that’s already there. So, no, I don’t want to do more, but I always want to do more, you know? I could do more movies with Kenshi, I could do more movies with where potentially Sub-Zero, you know, stuff like that.
THH: For Kano, we’ve seen him before in the previous Mortal Kombat Legends movies where he’s a participant in this whole tournament, but now we see him as this cyborg ruler of this wasteland. Without giving any spoilers, how would you describe his transformation?
ADAMS: You know, absolute power corrupts absolutely. This isn’t wholly out of video game continuity and we really took something that was maybe briefly talked about in video games and expanded upon it because the great thing about the video games is depending on who you play [and] win with, you have a different ending. The idea that somebody as crazy and psychotic as Kano potentially gets that power, it fits. You just start logically going like, “What would we do with it? How would somebody that could not be satiated with power, what would he do?” And that’s what Kano’s soul is like: it’s never enough, it’s never correct. It’s something that, you know, absolutely just abusing it in a way and then it’s like he was an evil guy before, but he’s just got worse because he knows that nothing matters in his mind because he can change it you know. Without spoiling it! (laughs)
THH: So the action from the original two films is a lot to handle. You had these close-up, x-ray sequences smashed in with heads being blown off, buildings and towers collapsing, and all around in general. Would you say the action in this film has been upgraded from the prior films?
MORALES: I don’t know that it’s been upgraded, but it’s got a different flow to it. I feel like the pace of the film is different in that it’s not all bloody violence the entire time. We start you off with an explosion of, really, ultra violence at the beginning of it and then kind of taper that off a little bit and slow down through out and build up [Kenshi and Sub-Zero’s] relationship a bit to the finale, which is then, just like, over-the-top ridiculous. I think that aspect has to be in Mortal Kombat: you need the ultra violence, you need the kind of “wink” at the audience with the fatalities and stuff like that. But to me, it’s not that we’ve outdone things or not or whatever. It’s like, “What was the flow of the story? How are we telling it?” And I think that’s a little different in this one than it was in the previous.
THH: We’ve seen Kuai Liang and Kenshi grow this father-son/master-apprentice relationship throughout the film. How would you describe the best parts of this relationship?
YUAN: I think that it’s growth on both parts, you know? On Kenshi’s side, it’s ego, it’s his youth, he just wants it today or tomorrow. He had to learn patience the hard way and as far as Kuai Liang goes, it’s just about being able to open himself up and let someone in and also realizing he’s got to do the right thing.
THH: Kira is now part of the Black Dragons, this terrorist organization spreading throughout the wastelands. How would you say her role is important towards the expansion and her involvement with Kenshi?
TAYLOR: I think it’s important because there just needs to be more women, more women’s stories. So, I’m hoping that this is a great way for, you know, the Mortal Kombat franchise to start looking at more women’s stories. I think it’s great to have her portrayed as she’s the baddest one of all of them, especially in this situation, in this movie, so I appreciate it. I was like, “Oh man, I’m probably gonna die early in this.” (laughs) But you know, I would love to see more women just being part of what is traditionally just a man’s, you know, she brings a whole different element. I love that Yuri Lowenthal was sort of a goofier foil and they sort of shifted the gender roles on it so I really appreciated that.
THH: Given the fact of death in the Mortal Kombat world, as well as the ending of Snow Blind, would you say that you’d like to work within the universe of Mortal Kombat again?
TAYLOR: I would, I would. That’s also the great thing is in these huge franchises it’s like “Okay, so you’re dead, but you could come back or there could be another thing that happens!” So, you know, I would love to explore her more, but I’m super interested to see, especially hanging out with these guys this weekend, to see where the franchise goes. I mean, they were just talking about how they could write these films for the rest of their lives, so yeah. I’m excited to see where it goes and it hopefully will be. That’s the other great thing: sometimes you don’t have to be the same character your whole life so, you know, I’m available if they want to give me something else!
Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind will be available October 11 in 4K, Blu-Ray, and Digital HD.