Mortal Kombat Movie Trailer: 27 Easter Eggs, Video Game References, And Things You Missed

It’s here! The first trailer for the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie has arrived and, thankfully, it’s loaded with the kind of blood, gore, and crazy superhuman abilities fans of the video game series have come to expect. The film will release in theaters and on HBO Max on April 16. This version of Mortal Kombat is rated R, unlike the previous live-action movies, and the first red band trailer has no problem showing that rating off.

It’s also packed with a bunch of iconic characters from the franchise, giving them each time to shine (and mutilate their opponents). Given that this is a Mortal Kombat movie, the trailer also thankfully includes a very bloody montage of fatalities and a number of signature catchphrases (from “Get over here!” to “Finish them!”).

Take a look at every Easter egg and reference we managed to dig out of the trailer below. If there are any we missed, you should absolutely shout them out in the comments. Then, if you’re feeling nostalgic, take a look at our deep dives into the original films, Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

1. Red band

Right from the start, we know this will be more graphic than either of the first two Mortal Kombat movies. A red band trailer means things are going to get messy.

2. Sub-Zero labeled a “wanted fugitive”

A voiceover from Sonya Blade reveals that Sub-Zero is a “wanted fugitive” in Brazil. There’s no hint at what his crimes were, though chances are they have something to do with freezing and exploding people.

3. Sub-Zero’s powers

Before his proper introduction later in the trailer, we see just how powerful Sub-Zero is. Not only does he freeze Jax’s gun as it’s firing, he uses his icy powers to inflict some serious damage on the character.

4. He freezes and rips off Jax’s arms

We get a brand new origin story for Jax’s metal arms here, which have already had a number of origin stories in the past. This time, he’s going to become a cool cyborg thanks to a really gnarly run-in with Sub-Zero. Ouch.

5. Enter Sonya Blade

In the games, Sonya Blade is a member of a special forces team focused on Outworld-related activities and it seems like at least a portion of that backstory is being adapted for the movie. She and Jax are apparently working to hunt down Sub-Zero, who they know as a fugitive with supernatural abilities. Interestingly, the trailer doesn’t seem to play up the ongoing rivalry between Sonya and Kano, which has always been a big part in the games, but may not make it into the new movie.

6. A familiar mark

Why does Cole Young, a character created for the film who seems to be the movie’s lead, have the Mortal Kombat logo on his skin? As the trailer tells it, that mark (which he’s had since birth) means he’s destined to take part in the tournament.

7. Quick shot of Mileena from behind

We’ll see a better–and bloodier– shot of her later in the trailer, but this is the first look at Mileena in the film.

8. Is that Shao Kahn?

We briefly see a painting of what looks like a previous tournament–perhaps the first–in which one competitor stands tall over another, who happens to be spewing blood. The victor could very well be Shao Kahn. The best evidence of that is the spiked bracers he wears on his wrists.

9. “A great tournament”

The first we heard of the “great tournament” is from Sonya Blade, explaining to Cole what the dragon mark on his chest actually means. Sonya believes it’s his invitation to compete.

10. Raiden and Shang Tsung meet

While both will be shown in better detail in the trailer, the first glimpse of both Raiden and Shang Tsung shows both silhouetted as they face off in a room filled with ice crystals, no doubt created by Sub-Zero.

11. Scorpion’s origin

Scorpion’s origin story is pretty komplicated, but we can make some assumptions about the version this movie is going for based on these scenes. Hanzo Hasashi was an ex-assassin and member of a cabal of ninjas called the Shirai Ryu, who had “retired” and started living as a pretty regular guy with a quiet life and a family. However, tragedy struck when his entire clan and family were wiped out by Sub-Zero (or, one of the Sub-Zeros in MK’s lore, but don’t worry too much about that). Hanzo himself didn’t survive the encounter and was sent to the hellish Netherrealm where he was resurrected by Quan Chi, transforming him into the nightmarish Scorpion. In more recent versions of the story, it was revealed that Sub-Zero actually had nothing to do with the murder of Hanzo’s family and the whole thing was, in fact, a ploy by Quan Chi meant to manipulate and puppeteer Scorpion into working for him.

It’s not completely clear if we’re going to see Quan Chi in the movie, or if we’ll get the version where Quan Chi is manipulating the rivalry between Sub-Zero and Scorpion, but we’re definitely going to see Hanzo experience some real tragedy and bounce back from it as a new and presumably more dangerous man. And he’ll probably have a huge, climactic fight with Sub-Zero somewhere in here, too, just based on Sub-Zero’s status as one of the featured antagonists for the Earthrealm gang.

12. Kano

Aussie cyborg Kano is one of the franchise’s recurring antagonists, especially for Sonya Blade. Originally from Earthrealm, Kano used his conniving instincts and cut-throat tendencies to work his way into Shao Kahn’s inner circle in Outworld (in some versions of the story, at least). Also his cybernetic facial features were care of a wound inflicted by Jax in the games–but it’s impossible to tell if that story will make it into the movie.

13. Liu Kang

Liu Kang is one of Mortal Kombat’s most prominent protagonists and eventually became champion after the first tournament was finished. It will be interesting to see where he fits into the Earthrealm team in this movie, however, since Cole Young has been introduced and will apparently be serving the protagonist role for this story.

14. Jax’s arms

Our first look at Jax’s cybernetic arms is pretty impressive. Hopefully, they’ll be a little bit harder for Sub-Zero to freeze and shatter than his organic ones.

15. Kung Lao

A new addition to the classic (sorry, klassic) team from Earthrealm compared to the original set used in the ’97 movie: Kung Lao, a Shaolin monk who uses his razor-sharp hat as both a weapon and a shield. In the games, Kung Lao is a descendant of the Great Kung Lao, the first person from Earthrealm to represent the Order of Light in Mortal Kombat.

16. Lord Raiden

One of the most iconic characters in the franchise, Lord Raiden, the eternal god of thunder and sworn protector of Earthrealm, is naturally going to be in the movie. In the games, Raiden has been a mentor and father figure to many of Earthrealm’s champions, so we can expect him to step into that role yet again in this movie.

17. Mileena

A mutant hybrid clone from Shang Tsung’s “flesh pits,” Mileena is a monstrous fighter and threat from Outworld who traditionally hides her massive fangs and split-mouth behind a mask. We see her unmasked here licking the blood from one of her trademark daggers and, while her teeth definitely do look pretty inhuman, she doesn’t have her extremely split cheeks. That’s likely to change as the movie progresses, however, if the burn marks and scaring along her face are any indication.

18. Shao Kahn statue

Yes, it seems Shao Kahn had a truly gigantic statue of himself created to lord over Outworld. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, though. This tyrant has been the central antagonist for practically all of the Mortal Kombat franchise, since debuting in the second game.

19. Shang Tsung

Shang Tsung is a sorcerer who is powered by the souls he steals from combatants in the tournament. He was also the primary antagonist of the first game (and the first film). Among his more devious powers is the ability to shapeshift. We don’t see that in the trailer, but hopefully, it’s shown in the film.

20. Smoke

Yes, you know Scorpion and Sub-Zero, and you are probably even familiar with Reptile. What about Smoke, though? This character, who resembles yet another colorway of the iconic ninjas, appears from a cloud of Smoke in the trailer. Smoke was first introduced in Mortal Kombat II, but wasn’t a playable character until Mortal Kombat 3, when he was redesigned to be a cyborg. Why a cyborg? Great question.

21. Liu Kang’s animality

Liu Kang summoning a massive dragon made of fire could be a reworked version of his animality, which originally saw him transform into the creature. Then again, this could also simply be one of his special powers or fatalities on display.

22. Goro

In the original Mortal Kombat movie, Goro was a hulking brute in all of his puppeted glory. At times the character looked silly, but it was still an intriguing visual. Now, the CGI version of the character looks truly horrifying in the brief glimpse we see of him in this trailer.

23. Blood swords are the coolest weapon

In a fight with Scorpion, Sub-Zero pulls off perhaps the coolest move in the entire film. He uses an ice sword to slash at his opponent, causing blood to spurt out. Sub-Zero quickly freezes that blood into a second ice sword, attacking Scorpion with his own blood.

24. Get over here

Scorpion yells one of his signature taunts from the original games during battle.

25. Finish them!

The most iconic Mortal Kombat line of them all also makes it into the trailer. For players who know what they’re doing, this line usually precedes a brutal fatality. Naturally, a long line of fatalities follow in a montage, complete with some surprises.

26. Is that Reptile?

In the original MK movie, Reptile was shown as a terribly animated little lizard creature inhabiting a body similar to Scorpion and Sub-Zero’s. If this is the new movie’s Reptile–a walking dinosaur man of some sort–we’re hopefully going to see him in his ninja form, as well. Then again, this could also be some version of Liu Kang’s animality, in which he turns into a dragon.

27. Kano wins

The final shot in the trailer shows none other than Kano with a beating heart in his hand. “Kano wins,” he proclaims, before looking at the heart. “You f***ing beauty.” This is a nod to his fatality in the first game, which saw him rip his opponent’s heart out of their chest.

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