Ah we all knew this day would come. After proving himself worthy of rebooting the beloved video game franchise, Kevin Tancharoen has been given the reigns to direct a Mortal Kombat reboot feature film. Though his preview credits include Fame and Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, Mortal Kombat fans know that Tancharoen holds a special place in his heart for the violent and controversial game. In June 2010 a MK short film surfaced on the ‘Net and people went bananas. The nearly eight-minute long video Mortal Kombat: Rebirth reached millions of hits in a matter of days. Turned out that it was Tancharoen’s attempt to pitch a reimagined Mortal Kombat movie to the studios. Though he wasn’t immediately granted the rights to helm a movie early on, he was given the opportunity to produce a 10-part web series based in the MK universe. Apparently Mortal Kombat: Legacy and the rebooted video game that followed gained enough steam and attracted enough viewers/gamers to make Warner Bros. (New Line’s parent company) greenlight the movie with Tancharoen in the director’s chair. Oren Uziel (who collaborated with Tancharoen to make the short film) will pen the script. No word as to whether or not the actors in the web series (Michael Jai White, Jeri Ryan, Ian Anthony Dale, etc.) will reprise their role in the reboot feature film. In the end, Kevin’s wish was granted.
Update: Tancharoen shared his vision for the movie with EW. Choice quote right here: “Up to this point, we’ve only been talking ‘rated R.’ I like realistic takes on things, I like it when it’s a little darker and grittier. And I want the martial arts to feel real as opposed to balletic and super-choreographed. It needs to feel brutal, because that’s the nature of the video game itself.” As long as he can recreate what he did in the original short film (and with a much higher budget from New Line I’m sure he’ll exceed expectations) I trust Tancharoen will have no problem injecting new life into the aging, classic franchise.
On Tuesday this viral video hit the ‘Net and quickly garnered critical acclaim. After watching this extremely well produced short film based on the classic video game Mortal Kombat people everywhere began to speculate. Was this a teaser trailer for a reboot of 1995′s Mortal Kombat film or was it just a fan-made work of art? Shortly after its arrival it was discovered that the seven-and-a-half minute short was directed by Kevin Tancharoen (director of 2009′s Fame) and it was produced in an attempt to pitch Tancharoen’s vision for a reimagined Mortal Kombat movie to Warner Brothers (as confirmed by actress Jeri Ryan’s Twitter feed). Mortal Kombat: Rebirth was Tancharoen’s way of saying, “Hey WB, check out this video, see what I can do, and let’s talk about making a new Mortal Kombat flick.”
This mini-movie is nothing short of fantastic. Though it takes place in the MK universe, the characters’ origins are based in reality. Instead of attributing their abilities to the supernatural, each villain transforms into their malaligned selves due to psychotic breaks or hereditary disease. These characters have mental and physical “issues” and they know martial arts. That’s Tancharoen’s spin on the MK universe. And obviously he retains the overall plot which revolves around the tournament. From the intense fight sequence to the stunning camera shots and visuals, Tancharoen’s short deserves WB approval. As Jackson Briggs was trying to convince Hanzo Hasashi/Scorpion to enter the tournament to kill Baraka, Reptile, and the other villains I was instantly imagining and anticipating how the story would continue. And then I remembered I was only watching a short clip on YouTube. I have no doubt this masterpiece of a short will lead to a feature-length MK movie sometime in the near future.
MK: Rebirth stars Michael Jai White as Jackson Briggs, Matt Mullins as Johnny Cage, Ian Anthony Dale as Hanzo Hasashi/Scorpion, Richard Dorton as Reptile, Lateef Crowder as Alan Zane/Baraka, and Jeri Ryan as Sonya Blade. The fight sequence was choreographed by Larnell Stovall. (Click here for more…)