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Trivia / Mortal Kombat: The Movie

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  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Christopher Lambert's appearance as Raiden was essentially unpaid, with the actor even having to cover his own room, board, and travel expenses, but he did it anyway because he thought the movie was cool and was having fun making it.
  • Billing Displacement: Although he portrays the lead character of Liu Kang, Robin Shou is billed third on the poster and second in the ending credits. Top billing in the latter was given to Christopher Lambert, despite having a supporting role.
  • Cast the Expert:
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    • Robin Shou was a working stunt man and proficient in Kung Fu before he was cast. In fact he was friends with Ho Sung-Pak, the performer for Liu Kang in the original games.
    • Linden Ashby had athletic training, but was more familiar with boxing before the movie.
    • Chris Casamassa was originally just a stunt double, but the crew was impressed and cast him as Scorpion.
  • Executive Meddling: The original screenplay for the film was more faithful to the games, in that it had graphic violence and strong language making it a R rated script. However, the deal that the producers had with New Line Cinema included that they deliver a PG-13 movie to keep the film accessible to the target audience (mostly teenagers).
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Japanese actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as the Chinese sorcerer Shang Tsung.
    • Australian (actually English) Trevor Goddard as the Japanese-American Kano, who ended up being such a popular example that the developers of Mortal Kombat officially changed Kano's nationality to follow suit.
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  • He Also Did: Francois Petit, who plays Sub-Zero and does all of his gymnastic stunts etc, was also a legendary Back-Alley Doctor/chiropractor of sorts who would work with WWE after this movie, and fix wrestlers up after matches if they injured themselves. Stories of his alleged antics include popping the shoulder of Mick Foley back in after his first fall in the infamous King of the Ring Hell in a Cell match, and doing open heart surgery with his bare hands; according to Vince Russo he was also once in a drag-race with Warren Beatty.
  • Multiple Languages, Same Voice Actor: Christopher Lambert dubbed himself for the French release.
  • No Stunt Double: The actors did their own stunts.
  • The Other Marty: Cameron Diaz was lined up to play Sonya Blade and had gotten as far as training for the action sequences, but suffered a wrist injury while doing so and backed out to be replaced last minute by Bridgette Wilson. This becomes evident as the movie really dances around Sonya's action sequences, as Wilson didn't have the same training time. They reorganized the shooting schedule to push Sonya's fight scenes back as far as they could, but the lack of preparation shows.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
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    • Paul Anderson was a fan of the original game, which helped him secure the job. While other directors had looked down on the project, Anderson pushed hard for the job and did his homework with the game's lore and visual effects (which he had no background on), which impressed both New Line brass and Boon and Tobias.
    • Christopher Lambert is an avid gamer in real life. Not only he managed to score a key role in this movie, but 26 years later got to reprise the role in Mortal Kombat 11 as one of Raiden's DLC costumes.
  • Release Date Change: The film was originally due for a May 1995 release, but was pushed to August after test screening audiences loved what they saw, but thought there weren't enough fights.
  • Role Reprise: Just like in the games, series co-creator Ed Boon provides Scorpion's "GET OVER HERE!", as well as his other lines this time.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Liu Kang was supposed to duplicate the acrobatic flips of Sub-Zero's down the ramp during the fight, but Robin Shou couldn't pull it off successfully. After a few takes, instead of the acrobatics, he just ran down into the ramp yelling like a maniac. That's the shot that got used. Shou also did multiple takes of being thrown at a pillar during the fight with Reptile, they used the one where he broke a rib by hitting it on the side.
    • Raiden's laughter and "sorry" after telling the heroes that the fate of the world is in their hands was an ad-lib by Christopher Lambert.
    • Many of Jonny Cage's one liners were ad libs by Linden Ashby, including "Those were 500 dollar sunglasses, asshole!" During the fight with Scorpion, one kick to the back actually hurt Ashby as it landed on his shoulder blade, which is clearly shown in the movie.
  • Uncredited Role: While Frank Welker is credited as the voice of Shao Khan, the on-camera actor is left unbilled. Similarly, Tom Woodruff, Jr. is uncredited for the suit performance of Goro.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Cameron Diaz was originally cast as Sonya. She broke her wrist while training and was replaced by Bridgette Wilson. Christina Applegate and Sharon Stone were also considered.
    • Michael Jai White was slated to play the role of Jax. Ultimately, he left in order to do Tyson. He would eventually end up portraying Jax in Mortal Kombat: Rebirth and Mortal Kombat: Legacy.
    • The filmmakers wanted Jean-Claude Van Damme to play Johnny Cage, but he turned down it down to do Street Fighter. Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp were also considered.
    • Brandon Lee was originally going to play Liu Kang, but he died before filming started. Jason Scott Lee was also considered before Robin Shou got the role.
    • Sean Connery was offered the role of Raiden, but he turned it down, as he wasn't interested in doing a physical role. He told the producers that he'd rather golf. Danny Glover was also considered.
    • Steven Spielberg was supposed to make a cameo appearance in the movie. However, due to scheduling conflicts, he backed out. The director in Johnny's first scene bears a pretty good resemblance to Spielberg, making it pretty obvious where the cameo was supposed to take place.
    • A fight scene involving Sonya and Jade was cut from the script during production. It made the cut for the novelization, however.
    • Scorpion's death would also be different from the final form: instead of exploding after the shield toss, he falls off a platform and onto a spike, referencing the Pit stage fatality from MK. Ultimately, that death was repurposed to be used for Shang Tsung's.
    • Robin Shou said that in the original script he "was supposed to fall in love with Talisa Soto [Kitana]. I was looking forward to it, but they thought we have so much action, we don't want to add romance to it. They cut it out."
    • Scripted but not filmed was a scene where Shang Tsung allowed the "Kombatants" a night to bury Art Lean and mourn his loss. They buried him the Garden of Statues, underneath the statue of Kung Lao; this is the only place where Kung Lao appears in any of the movies.
    • The movie was originally going to end right after Raiden congratulates Liu Kang for defeating Shang Tsung and tells everybody they did great. Then the final scene where Shao Khan appears and threatens them was shot and added.
    • Reptile's fight with Liu Kang was a late addition to the movie to keep up the action pacing before reaching the climax. This partially explains how random his presence and transformation from a statue was.

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