How NetherRealm Studios Methodically Designed Homelander for Mortal Kombat 1

So, I’m happy to go book-club with Homelander, but that isn’t what got us in the door. We’re here because Homelander is awesome, great, and terrible, in the way a nova or rogue wave or H-bomb has those qualities. He is the merciless last boss of a story with no credible heroes in sight. That’s what punches our ticket. Later, we can see he’s lonely, juvenile, and tortured, despite unmatchable powers… that he’s, if not sympathetic, at least understandable. Few people would choose the life that made him so strong but so cruel. And what better fit could there be for Mortal Kombat, a hard-edged universe where we sometimes half-joke there are no good guys?

After careful preparation, we began work. Nailing tone was key. “Does this feel like Homelander?” Was our guiding-light question applied to everything: poses, movement, sound effects, facial expressions, hand gestures, even the set of a shoulder or angle of a dangling foot. Homelander’s central emotion is a bottomless contempt, which he struggles to hide for the sake of appearance. Watching that mask slip is the show’s core tension (and most perverse joy), and we strove to maintain that here.

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