Mortal Kombat finds its Liu Kang in Ludi Lin — plus three others cast
Once again, life imitates Black Mirror. Ludi Lin, the actor who appeared in the “Striking Vipers” season 5 episode as a character in a fighting game, will now star in the cast of the new live-action Mortal Kombat movie — which is based on a fighting game.
Lin, who also played the Black Ranger in the most recent Power Rangers movie, is in negotiations to play mainstay of the game franchise Liu Kang, EW has learned. Three others are also joining the cast: Mehcad Brooks (Supergirl), Tadanobu Asano (Thor: Ragnarok), and newcomer Sisi Stringer.
Brian Tochi and Robin Shou portrayed Liu, one of the original characters from the first 1992 Mortal Kombat game, in previous movie adaptations. In the canon, Liu, a Shaolin monk, enters the tournament to save earth and becomes a champion.
“Much luv to all the MK fans button mashing that kept the series thriving,” Lin tweeted of the news. “Respect to Robin Shou for portraying the OG LK. An unshakable source of pride for countless of us. Times are changing but the challenges keep coming. I’m so ready for the fight.”
Plot details on the new film are still under wraps, but the additional casting updates provide more clues.
Brooks will play muscleman-with-actual-arms-of-steel Jackson “Jax” Briggs, Asano (a.k.a. “Hogun” of the Warriors Three in the Marvel movies) is in talks to play God of Thunder Raiden, and Stringer will play the sai-wielding assassin Mileena.
“Remember that thing I kept saying I’d tell y’all about?” Brooks wrote in a post on Instagram after the news became official. The actor announced his leave from Supergirl to focus on unspecified feature films and developing a cable series. We at least now know what one of those things is. “Do you know how hard it was to keep my mouth shut?” he added.
All four actors join the previously announced Joe Taslim as another fan-favorite character, Sub-Zero.
The actors tapped for the film, so far, speak to efforts from the crew to assemble a diverse international ensemble. James Wan of Aquaman and The Conjuring fame produces the feature with commercial director Simon McQuiod at the helm.
Greg Russo, a screenwriter on the new movie, teased an R-rated action movie that will feature fatalities — the always bloody finishing move sequences, a signature of the videogames.
“To be clear, we’re not remaking the 1995 movie and we’re not doing the storyline that’s in Mortal Kombat 11 because there’s been a whole universe. It’s like comic books,” producer Todd Garner previously teased. “So we’re going back and looking at some of the older storylines and some of the mythology, being very very very very aware of each character’s origin, their nationality, being very sensitive to that, being authentic to that.”
Mortal Kombat is scheduled for release on March 5, 2021.
This article has been updated with statements from Lin and Brooks.