New Mortal Kombat movie trailer sparks questions about character inclusions

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HBO MAX debuted a trailer for the new “Mortal Kombat” movie on Feb. 18

The restricted trailer already garnered 283,402 views, as of this writing, on HBO MAX’s YouTube channel. It appears that the movie serves as a reboot of the first two movies made in the 1990s. The film is produced by New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Studios, among others.

According to the movie’s IMDB page, the movie follows the story of a new character, an MMA fighter named Cole Young, as he discovers why he has a strange dragon tattoo on him, and details his escape from the clutches of Outworld Emperor Shang Tsung.

“Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao, and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe,” the movie’s IMDB entry stated.

A screengrab from the restricted trailer. The special effects department did Reptile dirty by making him look like a Godzilla 1998 stand-in.

In addition to the aforementioned characters, the description confirms that Sub-Zero, Sonya Blade, Jax, and Raiden make the cut. What other character inclusions can be gleaned from this?

Going by the restricted trailer, the characters Scorpion, Goro, and Shao Kahn are in plain sight. Although, Shao Kahn looks more like a statue than a person. However, if the video is paused at the right moments, it can be safely assumed the characters Kitana, Mileena, Smoke, and Reptile can be seen.

That seems like quite a character dump for this reboot, given what the trailer shows so far. With its reboot status, the possibilities of this movie are endless when it comes to how characters will be handled. If Shang Tsung is the Emperor of Outworld, what is Shao Kahn doing? Does Kano still have an allegiance to the Black Dragon Clan?

If anything, the trailer failed to mention the inclusion of one of the franchise’s most important characters of all: Chun-Li.

Oops! Jezebel staff writer Shannon Melero wrote an article on Feb. 18, titled “Who Forgot to Invite Chun-Li to the Mortal Kombat?” Her article discusses the new “Mortal Kombat” trailer and accidentally based it around the exclusion of Chun-Li, a character from “Street Fighter.”

“But being the astute film critic that I am I immediately clocked a glaring error in the film. Where in all the realms is Chun-Li?” Melero wrote.

Jezebel noticed this 19 minutes after the article’s publication and stated, “Jezebel has discovered the answer to our question about Chun Li’s erasure, and it is that Chun Li is not part of the Mortal Kombat megaverse. Wow!”

A screengrab taken from Jezebel's site on Feb. 18. Kudos to Jezebel for not deleting this article!

Is this clickbait gone wrong? Or a move where bad PR translates to good PR? This seems like an honest yet odd mistake here.

The movie is set to release on HBO MAX on April 16.

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