'Mortal Kombat' Movie Gets A Director

A new Mortal Kombat movie has been in development for a few years already without much to show for it, to the point where it was easy to forget a Mortal Kombat movie was in development at all. But in recent months, we started hearing rumblings that the film was getting back on track. And now today, it's taking a giant leap forward. Commercials director Simon McQuoid has been set to direct the video game adaptation, which is being produced by James Wan for New Line.

Variety reports McQuoid is currently in talks. Greg Russo wrote the most recent draft of the script. Producing with Wan are Michael Clear of Atomic Monster and Todd Garner and Jeremy Stein of Broken Road. Lawrence Kasanoff will serve as executive producer.

The Mortal Kombat property started as a video game franchise in 1992, and got a live-action movie adaptation in 1995 directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. The film wasn't very good, but the brand name was apparently popular enough to carry it to a $122 million worldwide gross. However, the sequel, 1997's Mortal Kombat: Annihilation fared even worse with critics and also tanked at the box office, so that was the end of that. There have been attempts since then to make a third Mortal Kombat movie, but those efforts have languished in development hell.

The franchise got a jolt of energy recently, however, with the recent web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy. Then in 2015, Wan came on board to produce the third Mortal Kombat movie. As of a few months ago he was reassuring fans the project was moving forward, albeit not at a "rushed" pace:

It's still cooking away. With that particular project, that's a really cool property that I loved growing up as a kid. Besides the game, even the movies as well, I kind of enjoyed them for what they are. The key here is to try and do it right. I don't want to rush into it. So right now, we're just trying to take our time to make sure it's heading in the right direction. I think that's more important than trying to rush through it and pump up something that no one likes.

At the time, he also offered some hints about what we could expect from the sequel:

I love the characters. I think they're such colorful characters. It's such an amazing take on, basically, 'Enter the Dragon.' It's that fantasy version, the video game version, of 'Enter the Dragon.' And in doing so, they ended up creating such interesting characters and I think that is such a cool world to explore. This really mythical, bigger world that lives on another dimension on top of ours. I think that's really fun to play with and so we'll see.

A James Wan-produced Enter the Dragon homage with a fantasy vibe? That... actually sounds kind of interesting, even if the previous Mortal Kombat movies don't exactly inspire faith. And even though video game movies still tend to suck more often than not. Okay, yeah, consider our expectations managed. We'll try to keep them around "cautiously hopeful" for the time being.

Watch some of McQuoid's commercials work below: