Mortal Kombat, the long-running video game series-turned-movie franchise, is back with another installment and along with it, a familiar voice. Megan Fox is joining the cast of the new game, Mortal Kombat 1, as the character Nitara.
Nitara is a vampire from the Realm of Vaeternus, a role Fox says is perfect for her following her cult-classic film Jennifer's Body, where she played a character who ate people's flesh.
The original video game
Mortal Kombat premiered as a 2D arcade game in 1992 before it was released on the Sega Genesis and Super NES systems in September 1993.
Created by Midway Games, Mortal Kombat featured constant waves of bloody action and skilled fighting mixed with unique weapons, becoming renown for its gory fatalities at the end of matches. Complaints over its brutal nature, in part, led to a congressional hearing and the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in 1994.
In the game, players select a character to battle it out against a series of foes in a tournament-style bout to determine who faces the final “boss.” Many signture quotes have originated from the franchise: from “Fatality!” and “Finish him/her!” to “Flawless victory!” and “Test your might!”
The original lineup of fighters included:
Raiden, the Thunder God
Liu Kang, a Shaolin monk determined to stop Shang Tsung
Johnny Cage, a Hollywood movie star who wants publicity
Sonya Blade, a U.S. Special Forces agent
Kano, a tyrant being pursued by Sonya Blade
Sub-Zero, a mercenary ninja with orders to assassinate Shang Tsung
Scorpion, a murdered ninja brought back from the dead to try and kill Sub-Zero
In Mortal Kombat II, the Emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn, gives Shang Tsung a second chance, hosting the Mortal Kombat competition in Outworld. Liu Kang would go on to “finish” the Emperor of Outworld.
Mortal Kombat 3 sees Shao Kahn invading the earth with his army of Outworld inhabitants following those two straight losses to the Earthrealm. But, he is defeated once again.
Liu Kang continued to be the hero through Mortal Kombat 4, but he is far from the franchise’s only popular character. One of the games's most popular quote, “Get over here,” belongs to Scorpion, with his notorious kunai harpoon that latches onto opponents and brings them into his grasp.
Nitara made her debut in 2002's Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliances. She has since appeared in or made cameos in six other versions of the game, including the upcoming game, which will be released on Sept. 19, and is billed as a return to the beginning.
“The game will introduce a reborn Mortal Kombat Universe that has been created by the Fire God Liu Kang, featuring reimagined versions of iconic characters as they’ve never been seen before, along with a new fighting system, game modes, bone-krushing finishing moves and more,” according to the official site.
The character appeared in the live-action 2021 Mortal Kombat movie, played by Mel Jarnson.
What Fox has said about playing the role
Warner Bros. Games and NetherRealm Studios, the Mortal Kombat franchise developer, unveiled Fox's role on Wednesday. The goth-like character bears a striking resemblance to the actress, with the notable addition of fangs and outsized bloodlust.
In a video clip, Fox shares her thoughts on Nitara, who must prey on others and get their blood to stay alive as opposed to stealing souls. Her motivation in Mortal Kombat 1 is to protect her vampire race. She has special finishing moves where she sucks blood or pulls out their intestines, according to the character's wiki page.
“She comes from this weird realm, she is a type of vampire creature,” Fox explains. “She's evil but she's also good. She's trying to save her people. I really like her. She's a vampire which obviously resonates for whatever reason. It's cool to be in the game, you know? Because I'm not really just voicing it, it'll be like she's kind of me.”
Of her voice recording sessions, Fox says the role has “caused me to be more free with myself.”
“It's an opportunity that anybody would want,” she explains. “It is one of the greatest video games of all time.”
Mortal Kombat 1 will be available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch and PC on Sept. 19.