Mortal Kombat Rebirth Trailer and New Online Episodes! Update! Warner Bros. has green lighted Tanchoreon's reboot idea!
Another Hollywood Reboot Idea
"GET OVER HERE! FINISH HIM! MORTAL KOMBAT!!!" Anyone remember those phrases? Well if you haven't heard of them before, then you might have missed out on arguably the best video game fighting franchise of all time or at least, one of the greatest. Back in 1992, Midway released the highly controversial fighting video game franchise that went on to not only spawn various sequels, it also inspired two movie adaptations and an animated series intended for kids. However, as popular as the franchise was, it was often the subject of controversy, due to it's graphic depiction of violence in each of it's games. Ranging anywhere, but not limited to, blood, gore, maiming and graphic depictions of gratuitous violence. Seriously, if you ever played the original fighting game, there's moments where it allows users to rip off their opponents heads...LITERALLY!
Needless to say, the "Mortal Kombat" franchise has often been used to fuel politicians' plea to regulate and ban violence in video games; with little luck thus far. However, as controversially graphic as the games were, the brief cartoon series and live action movies were nowhere near as graphic. If anything,"Mortal Kombat" was toned down considerably during both incarnations, as Midway tried to make the franchise more accessible to a larger audience. However, both were poorly received by fans, as both the cartoon and movies were met with mixed reviews.
Although "Mortal Kombat" is nowhere near as popular as it was back in the day, it's still a well established video game franchise in today's gaming world. However, a few months ago, a leaked short film was released on youtube displaying a more realistically darker and more violent re-imagining of the "Mortal Kombat" series. Displaying potentially what it could be in a live action incarnation. Normally, I usually don't take videos like this seriously but when I saw some real big name actors (or sorta big names anyway) in it, I can't say I wasn't intrigued. After viewing the video, I could tell it wasn't made by your average fan, as those are fairly easy to detect; especially if you've seen as many movies as I have to recognize splice footage and dialogue of other films mixed into a trailer. However, this video had none of those indications, and it was very well done. This later prompt me to do a bit more research into this.
After reading various news articles online, it has come to my attention that the short film, "Mortal Kombat Rebirth" is essentially a re-imagining of the series that was pitched to Warner Bros by director, Kevin Tancharoen. Some of you may be familiar with his previous work from such films as the remake of "Fame." Anyway, in the short film it displays a more modern and realistic tone to the "Mortal Kombat" series than any of it's previous incarnations. Offering more realistic explanations behind some of the characters' abilities like Baraka and Reptile. Baraka is displayed as a man who goes criminally insane after failing as a surgeon, so he pierces his face and sharpens his teeth to resemble fangs. Then he surgically implants razor sharp blades into his forearms, to release whenever he pleases. As for Reptile, the short movie displays him as a serial killing cannibal with a rare skin disorder that causes him to look like a lizard; instead of being a mutant from another dimension like it was depicted in the games. In Kevin's pitch to reboot the franchise, he wishes to make it more realistic and perhaps more plausible than the previous film adaptations; even insisting on using Scorpion as the lead character this time.
Naturally, I know some "Mortal Kombat" purists will be upset by Kevin's drastic changes to some of the iconic characters of the game, but he does go on to mention that the fantasy elements of the series would not be absent from the movie if Warner Bros decides to go with his pitch. If anything, he goes on to say that the reason you don't see the fantasy elements in the short film is because the budget for it was around $7500 dollars. However, with a larger budget and if Warner Bros green lights his idea, he does say the fantasy elements would still be there but in a more plausible way. Kevin Tancharoen was quoted during an interview on screen rant with this statement:
"I would love it if Warner Bros. wanted to do it this way. But I was so passionate about doing this, that I just had to pick up the camera and do it. Now like I said, because I am such a fan of the Mortal Kombat series, I know there’s a lot of concern about the mysticism and the special powers and all that kind of stuff. Well, like I said, this is really designed — the short so far is really designed like a prologue to the movie. Now, in a movie version, I am going to have that mysticism there, but it has to be done in a very tasteful way. I wouldn’t like it too campy or too cheesy. I know this is a weird analogy, but it’s the best one I can think of right now. It’s kind of like when in Harry Potter, there’s two universes that coexist with each other. There’s the real world, and then you get on the train and then you go to Hogwart’s, and that’s where all the magic is."
As of right now, there's no official word if Warner Bros. will go through with this pitch or if Kevin Tancharoen, and the other actors involved in the short movie, will even be involved with the film if Warner Bros. decides to reboot "Mortal Kombat." The only thing that's been confirmed up to this point is that Warner Bros. has recently acquired the film rights to "Mortal Kombat" from it's affiliate New Line Cinema, and the short online film is gaining rapid popularity on youtube from various fans. Whether or not the popularity of the short film will spark Warner Bros' interest in Kevin Tancharoen's idea is unknown. However, I will say this from watching the trailer, it's already a helluva a lot better than the last two "Mortal Kombat" movies hands down.
Anyway, please be sure to check back here for frequent updates on the project as they're released. Also, feel free to view the short online video that's generating a lot of buzz below the text, but read the warning label before viewing.
WARNING: The Following video contains graphic depictions of violence, gore, adult situations and language. Parental discretion is advised. Not recommended to view if you suffer from heart problems, or a weak constitution. Do not watch this following video if you suffer from any of these symptoms.
Mortal Kombat Rebirth
Director: Kevin Tancharoen
Writer: Oren Uziel
Sonya Blade- Jeri Ryan
Jackson Briggs- Michael Jai White
Hanzo Hasashi/Scorpion- Ian Anthony Dale
Reptile- Richard Dorton
Alan Zane/Baraka- Lateef Crowder
Johnny Cage- Matt Mullins
Mortal Kombat Rebirth Question
Based on what you read and the trailer, do you think WB should go with Kevin Tancharoen's version of Mortal Kombat?
As some of you might have read earlier, Kevin Tancharoen made a short movie on a budget of $7500 dollars, as pitch to Warner Bros. as a possible way of rebooting "Mortal Kombat" to the big screen. Since the short film has been leaked on the internet, it has gained rapid popularity among many internet users. Gaining a total of 3.5 million hits on youtube alone. However, in spite of the recent success online of "Mortal Kombat Rebirth", it's still not enough to convince Warner Bros. that an "R-rated" version that Kevin Tancharoen is proposing would work on the big screen.
Sure, it's easy to
argue otherwise, from seeing the great quality of the short film, but
the reality is that "R-rated" films that require a lot of special
effects typically are hard to sell to any major movie studio. The
reason being is that most "R-rated" films typically don't generate
anywhere near the amount of money that "PG-13" and lower rated films
make annually. Add in the fact, Kevin Tancharoen is not a big name
director like Christopher Nolan or James Cameron to get away with asking
a studio for a lot of money to produce a big budget "R-rated" film;
especially one that's going to be a reboot of two previous films that
bombed fairly hard at the box office. Plus, it's no secret that almost
all video game based movies typically bomb both critically and box
office wise, as there's been few exceptions.
Therefore, for many of you that enjoyed the short online film, it doesn't look like a "Mortal Kombat Rebirth" full length movie will ever happen....at least for now anyway. However, fans will be treated to the next best thing....10 webisodes based on Kevin's projected idea. Although Warner Bros. is still hesitant about making this into a full length film, they are willing to give Kevin a chance to flesh out his vision for a reboot of the franchise through these online episodes. The series begins filming February in Vancouver and is supposed to present the characters of Shang Tsung, Liu Kang, SubZero, Durak, Kabal, Kitana/Mileena, as well as Scorpion and Jax with Michael Jai White returning for the role. It's still unclear if Jeri Ryan will reprise her role as Sonya Blade, nor is it confirmed whether or not Ian Anthony Dale will come back to play Scorpion.
As I said earlier, none
of this really surprises me, as I'm sure Warner Bros. is having to spend
enough money as it is on such films like "The Dark Knight Rises",
"Superman: Man of Steel", "Green Lantern", and "The Flash" coming down
the pipeline to name a few. Therefore, it's highly unlikely that Warner
Bros. is going to risk putting themselves out there for a "R-rated"
film based on a franchise that hasn't had much cinematic success thus
far; even worse it's based on a video game series which are often prone
to bomb in theaters typically. Then again, if the webisodes become a
huge hit on the internet like the short seven minute film, then there
might be a possibility that Warner Bros. could change it's tune.
Cast thus far for the online webisodes:
Sonya Blade: Jeri Ryan
Major Jackson "Jax" Briggs: Michael Jai White
Kano: Darren Shahlavi
Hanzo Hasashi/Scorpion: Ian Anthony Dale
In recent news, Jeri Ryan has been confirmed to reprise her role, as Sonya Blade, from the immensely popular online short movie, "Mortal Kombat Rebirth." In addition to recasting Jeri Ryan for Sonya, it seems Warner Bros. has also managed to land Darren Shahlavi for the part of Kano. Some of you might remember Darren from his "300" role, when he played one of the Persians of that film.
The online webisodes are currently being filmed in Vancouver, as we speak; where Kevin Tancharoen promises the new series will delve in deeper into some of Mortal Kombat's iconic characters like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, to name a few.
Please continue to check back here, as I'll be updating this hub frequently as new information becomes available.
In recent news, it looks like due to the recent success of the "Mortal Kombat" webisodes, Warner Bros. has officially green lighted Kevin Tanchoreon to prepare for an "R-rated" reboot of the series after all in theaters. There's no official word yet on the story, nor is there any word on who the main characters will be in Tanchoreon's reboot, but it should be interesting nonetheless.