Mortal Kombat Gets a Reboot
09.30.11 by Ryan
Fans of the Mortal Kombat video game franchise are finally getting a big screen reboot.
The franchise suffered a "fatality" (ahem) with 1997's Mortal Kombat: Annihilation the sequel to the successful, though cheesy, 1995 original. A third installment was planned but never came to fruition after Annihilation bombed — and after Warner Bros. announced a reboot in early 2010 that ended up in a lawsuit a month later. It seemed like another Mortal Kombat was never going to happen.
Enter Kevin Tancharoen, the director of the poorly received Fame remake and the similarly received Glee: The 3D Concert Movie. Tancharoen, along with screenwriter Oren Uziel, created a non-authorized, 8-minute Mortal Kombat short titled Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, which Warners almost shut down, but the strong response online led them instead to hire Tancharoen and Spartacus: Blood and Sand writers Todd and Aaron Helbing to create a 10-episode web series titled Mortal Kombat: Legacy. The first episode, which featured Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager) as Sonya Blade, Michael Jai White (Spawn) as Jax, Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica) as Stryker, and Darren Shahlavi (Ip Man 2) as Kano, received more than 14 million hits on YouTube (watch it here).
Based on the success of the web series and the latest video game, Deadline reports that New Line Cinema, a label of Warner Bros., is setting up a live-action Mortal Kombat reboot, with Tancharoen at the helm and Uziel writing the script.
"The new game and the online shorts prompted us to consider a reboot of a brand we hadn't been actively thinking about," New Line president Toby Emmerich told The LA Times, admitting that the previous Mortal Kombat movies "haven't aged well."
The plan for the reboot is to continue with the more realistic portrayal of the characters, with a release to be coordinated with the next Mortal Kombat game. No official word has been given on the status of the lawsuit that held up progress in 2010, though the LA Times report states that "people close to the movie" have revealed that "the two sides were close enough to a resolution to move ahead on the project."