While many of the games’ tropes and easter eggs made it into the Mortal Kombat movie, one that was never on the table was the infamous babality.
Screenwriter Greg Russo spoke to Polygon about the various tropes from the video-game that were considered for the film. However, the babality, a mechanic introduced in Mortal Kombat II that allowed players to turn their opponents into babies, was never an option for the film. While remaining open to other unused ideas appearing in any sequels, the babality was brushed aside by Russo, who said, “If you watch the opening movie, there was a baby in there… so maybe there was a babality.”
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The game franchise was made infamous by its signature fatality mechanic, that allowed players to execute gruesome finishing moves that have continued to get more graphic with each new release. However, the babality is an example of one of the more tame variants of finishers in the game, alongside mechanics such as the friendship finishers. Present in some of the earlier games, and then returning in Mortal Kombat (2011), it saw each character reduced to an infant version of themselves, with a unique outfit and losing animation. To initiate it, players need to execute a specific combo and have won the final round without performing any blocks.
The babality was not the only feature absent from the movie, however, other tropes from the game were at the very least considered. An easter egg that made it into the film at one point was the ongoing toasty gag, where a high pitch voice said “Toasty!” following a well timed uppercut. It was originally intended to be said by Liu Kang “after somebody was eviscerated,” making it in-keeping with its other popular use following fiery finishers like Scorpion’s.
The ending of the film established the likelihood of a sequel, during which many of the other tropes could make their debuts. This also included the possible introductions of various characters yet to appear on screen. While not every character from the games was present, those that were offered many of their signature lines and quirks, including Scorpion’s well-known “Get over here!” line. Those that weren’t present, however, were often foreshadowed. For example, while Russo said that the film had no room for Johnny Cage when a similar role was filled by Kano, a poster could be seen referencing the character, hinting at possible future appearances.
Directed by Simon McQuoid and produced by James Wan, Mortal Kombat stars Lewis Tan as Cole Young, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Josh Lawson as Kano, Tadanobu Asano as Lord Raiden, Mehcad Brooks as Jackson “Jax” Bridges, Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Chin Han as Shang Tsung, Joe Taslim as Bi-Han and Sub-Zero, Hiroyuki Sanada as Hanzo Hasashi and Scorpion, Max Huang as Kung Lao, Sisi Stringer as Mileena, Matilda Kimber as Emily Young and Laura Brent as Allison Young. The film is now in theaters and available to stream on HBO Max.
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