In the summer of 2010, a Michael Jai White-starring short film set in the “Mortal Kombat” video game universe hit the Internet. Nobody really knew what it was at first, but it ended up being a proof of concept short that Kevin Tancharoen directed in order to prove that there was room for a new Mortal Kombat movie that would take a different approach than New Line’s original take on the material.
That short has since become known as Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, and though it didn’t immediately land Tancharoen an offer to do a full-length film, it did garner him some additional studio change from Warner Bros. to fund an entire series of web shorts, which were called Mortal Kombat: Legacy. I guess they were another toe dipped in the water to see if there was any interest in a new series of Mortal Kombat films. Stretching the original short out to a series of them had mixed results in this reviewer’s eyes, but the reaction to them must have been positive and large enough to prove something to someone, because it’s looking like Tancharoen is finally going to get to direct his feature.
Heat Vision is reporting that New Line is picking up this ball and running with it, as they’ve hired Tancharoen and his writerOren Uziel to come and make a new feature-length Mortal Kombat for them. New Line’s last attempt at a full length Mortal Kombat movie was 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, which was pretty much a giant bomb.
This will be the first time that a story set in this universe has been aimed at a mainstream, non-web audience in a while, so I hope that Tancharoen takes an approach to it that is more action film-oriented (which he has proven himself to be good at) and shies away from the more mystical, otherworldly elements of this story (which came off as being pretty embarrassing in his hands). There doesn’t yet seem to be any word if series regulars like Jai White or Jeri Ryan would be returning to their established roles, but one would hope. Fingers crossed, don’t mess it up!