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Mortal Kombat Rebirth Trailer and New Online Episodes! Update! Warner Bros. has green lighted Tanchoreon's reboot idea!

Updated on August 17, 2012

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?

See results

Update #1

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 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

Update #2

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.

Update #3

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.


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    • Nickalooch profile image


      8 years ago from Columbia, MD

      i hope so lol. i really hope Kevin gets his wish here because i really think he would do well with it

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Hm...well you might be right about that then. Of course, I never seen any shows on Starz before, as I only have HBO and Showtime right now. However, I'll take your word for it though. That actually might be a great idea, as it would allow Kevin to expand on each character, since a movie wouldn't allow him to fully explore the MK universe that well. Therefore, I think you could be onto something there, as I think WB would be smart to go that route now that you've mentioned it.

    • Nickalooch profile image


      8 years ago from Columbia, MD

      i figure a station like starz would be ideal for this show. if u want proof look no further then the tv show spartacus on that network. that kind of brutality would work with this material. i understand why he made the episodes the way he did because he really couldn't go and show his true vision due to budget restraints.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Thanks Nickalooch. I'm glad you liked the hub, and thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts with us.

      To be honest, I too have mixed feelings about the episodes myself, but for different reasons. On the one hand, I would've liked to have seen the Mortal Kombat webisodes in the same style as "Mortal Kombat Rebirth" only because of the curiosity factor to see where Kevin would've taken it. On the other hand, I am glad he decided to make his webisodes more faithful to the series itself, as Mortal Kombat needed a faithful adaptation versus the trash we got in the last two movies.

      It should be interesting to see what happens after the last episode, as I think there's supposed to be one more coming. After seeing the episodes thus far, I do agree with you that WB should try to green light his idea, as I'm sure he can make a great movie on a fairly modest budget. Hell, he already proved that with these episodes.

      Then again, he's not a big name director, and I'm sure WB is going to get cold feet about that too; along with the idea that most video game based movies don't do that well.Plus, Kevin wants it to be an "R-Rated" film and as I mentioned in this hub, R-rated movies don't make too much money as people think. Plus, it doesn't help persuade them knowing that a "Mortal Kombat" movie will need a lot of special effects.

      I guess we'll have to wait and see though. I hope that I'm wrong, and that WB does green light his idea. However, I think if Kevin can somehow convince them that he can do a great movie for a reasonable budget of under a 100 million, then I think he has a great shot at convincing WB that a "Mortal Kombat" film could work.

    • Nickalooch profile image


      8 years ago from Columbia, MD

      I personally I'm mixed about the episodes so far and that's mostly because of it being an online series i think. Story wise yes it is much better then the original movies, i just wish some studio would get behind Tancharoen and green light his idea for a MK film. I know he is a new director and all but I like his approach to it. He is being faithful to the source content but with the online series he doesn't have the budget to be able to pull out some of the stuff I', sure he wishes he could. The one thing i loved about the Jax/Kano/Sonya storyline is the shear brutality of it all. I wouldn't mind at all if some tv station like Starz, Showtime or HBO would pick this series up if he doesn't get green lit for a film.

      Good write up though Steve.

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      Well unfortunately for you, these episodes that I speak of here have already been made. In fact, I was going to write another article about it once the final episode is released. However, from what I saw of the episodes thus far, they seem to be sticking closer to the original Mortal Kombat lore. As they introduced Baraka again in one of the episodes in his original form, as it seems they're definitely deviating from the gritty realistic portrayal that was shown here in "Mortal Kombat Rebirth." You should definitely check them out though, as they're very good. Trust me, they're a lot more faithful to the original story than you think. It's kind of a shame though, as I would've liked to have seen where Kevin Tancharoen would've taken it with this new approach. Oh well. At least the new episodes are a helluva a lot better than what we saw in the original movies. :D Anyways, thanks for stopping by, as it's always a pleasure getting feedback on these. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i don't think these Episodes should be made , Mortal Kombat is about different worlds fighting in a tournament to save certain realms . tho the fight scene with Baraka and Cage was cool , don't think they should of left from the Original Story. I Wonder What Ed Boones Opinion is on this movie

    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      8 years ago

      I agree. I'd be kind of curious to see what the finished product would be, as the brief 7 minute movie is already a helluva a lot better than the last two full length films, so just imagine how good a full film would be of Kevin's version.

      Anyways, thanks for stopping by optimus grimlock, and sharing your thoughts about this. Also, thanks for letting me know about dc vs mk, as i've been wanting to buy that game for a while along with a ps3. of course, i don't have the money for either right now. lol. however, once i do though i'll be sure to check it out. thanks for the tip. :)

    • optimus grimlock profile image

      optimus grimlock 

      8 years ago

      I think its a good twist to make it realistic afterall the 1st one didn't make much money and died half way through it. Its worth a shot to try it out a new way. I think its funny the m.c and street fighter have the same controls since the 1st game in the 90's, i have dc vs mc and its pretty good.


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