Simon McQuoid is a former commercial director who was won over by Greg Russo’s Mortal Kombat script. However, he wasn’t sold on directing a video game film — at first. As he recalls telling his agent: “The first movie out, I think it shouldn’t be a video game.” Clearly, that didn’t age well.
As a director, Mcquoid’s specialty was video game commercials, which he did for years. You can’t blame him for wanting to try something new. Once again, his agent asked him to read the script by Greg Russo, and he reluctantly agreed. After reading it, a light bulb went off, and he came up with ways to make the story work. “When I read the script, I thought, there’s enough here that if we can have this elegance and this cinematic beauty and authentic grit inside it, then maybe we can do that.”
Mcquoid and New Line Cinema brainstormed ideas on how to make the modern Mortal Kombat adaptation stand out from the previous movies. Soon they agreed to make the bloodiest video game film they could create.
During his commercial directing days, his projects had a cinematic flair to them. The one that put him on the map is the 2011 ad for PlayStation’s greatest characters. WME noticed his talent and signed him right away. It wasn’t until he went viral in 2016 with a Duracell ad that Mortal Kombat producer Todd Garner saw his talent and quality of work. Sometimes, you don’t know a project is for you until you give it a chance.
You can read the full interview at Heat Vision. Mortal Kombat is currently in Australian theatres.