Set for release in theaters and HBO Max on April 16, Mortal Kombat from director Simon McQuoid reboots the story of the popular video game franchise. The movie introduces a new character, Cole Young (Lewis Tan), a washed-up MMA fighter who has a strange dragon-shaped birthmark that happens to be the symbol of an ancient martial arts tournament.
Cole teams up with a squad made up of Special Forces soldiers Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), Jackson "Jax" Briggs (Mechad Brooks), Kano (Josh Lawson), and Shaolin monks Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), Kung Lao (Max Huang), and the thunder god Raiden (Tadanobu Asano) to enter the tournament and defeat an evil army that wants to invade Earth. All the while, two rival ninjas Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada) and Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim) wage a grudge match.
From special attacks ripped from the game to little callbacks fans will love, here are all the coolest details and Easter eggs contained in the trailer for Mortal Kombat. You can watch the restricted trailer below at the bottom of this article.
8. Shao Kahn's statue
While the villain of Mortal Kombat is Shang Tsung (played by Chin Han in the movie), a towering statue of the Outworld warlord Shao Kahn is seen at 1:37 in the trailer.
Introduced in the 1993 arcade sequel Mortal Kombat II, Shao Kahn is an even bigger villain (literally) than Shang Tsung. The duo have a reverse Emperor Palpatine/Darth Vader dynamic; while Shang Tsung is smarter and more cunning than Shao Kahn, Shao Kahn is the big bad with imposing strength. And you can bet the movie is already setting up his appearance in a sequel.
7. Secret character: Goro
Previously not announced to appear in the movie, the half-dragon champion of Mortal Kombat, Goro, will appear as a CGI villain in the new movie. We'll have to wait and see if he talks like he did in the 1995 movie. Hopefully, he doesn't.
6. Secret character: Kabal
Though he's hard to spot during his fight scene with Liu Kang, the Black Dragon assassin Kabal, an associate of Kano introduced in Mortal Kombat 3, appears as another surprise character. Like Goro, Kabal was not previously announced to appear in the movie, but the trailer confirms his appearance. You can spot him based on his mask, hod, and use of Chinese hook swords, a signature of Kabal in the Mortal Kombat universe.
5. Liu Kang's dragon "Animality"
Speaking of Liu Kang, the heroic Shaolin monk hero of the Mortal Kombat story (taking a back seat to the new Cole Young for the movie) generates a fiery dragon in the trailer.
This is an Easter egg to Liu Kang's "Animality," in which Liu himself becomes a dragon. Liu Kang's basic fire attacks also take the form of a dragon. Kang's Animality originates from the video games but played a key role in the climax of the 1997 movie Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.
4. Scorpion and Sub-Zero's storied rivalry
There's more to Scorpion and Sub-Zero than two enemy ninjas. The two iconic characters descend from rival clans, the Japanese Shirai Ryu (Scorpion) and the Chinese brotherhood of assassins, the Lin Kuei (Sub-Zero).
In the lore of the games, Scorpion was slain by Sub-Zero and returned as a hellspawn to seek vengeance for the death of his clan by the Lin Kuei. Scorpion succeeds when, in the first game, he kills Sub-Zero. In Mortal Kombat II, Sub-Zero's brother Kuai Liang seeks revenge and takes on the name "Sub-Zero" to continue the cycle of hatred between the clans. Meanwhile, the original Sub-Zero, Bi Han, slips into the shadows to become the dark ninja Noob Saibot.
The new movie trailer teases that, unlike the 1995 film that had Scorpion and Sub-Zero as nameless enforcers, the reboot will explore the epic saga that fuels Scorpion and Sub-Zero's feud. We see a clan of Lin Kuei descend on Scorpion's home, maybe the attack that kills Scorpion and turns him into a fiery zombie.
Speaking of Sub-Zero...
3. Sub-Zero's ice weapons and ice wall special
The movie teaser shows Sub-Zero creating an ice sword before generating a wall of ice he throws Scorpion into.
Sub-Zero has brandished ice weapons for some time in the games, starting with Mortal Kombat X in 2015. But his "ice wall" is a maneuver you can pull off yourself as Sub-Zero in the newest game, Mortal Kombat 11.
2. "Get over here!"
If I have to explain this, you're not a Mortal Kombat fan. But yes, Scorpion does shout "Get over here!" in the trailer, and it's awesome.
1. Secret character: Reptile
Reptile, a monstrous green ninja who was a super-secret character in the first arcade game, appears as a surprise in the trailer for Mortal Kombat. (He was also a surprise character in the original 1995 movie.) He is taken down by Kano, normally a villain in the story but is now positioned as an anti-hero in the movie. You can already guess a betrayal is in the cards, as the trailer also shows Sonya fighting Kano one-on-one.
Mortal Kombat will be released in theaters and HBO Max on April 16.