Mortal Kombat: Legacy director rebooting MK for the big screen

The Halo movie never materialized because there were too many cooks in the kitchen. Microsoft had their demands, Bungie had their own, and the movie’s producers had their own creative vision of how Halo could work as a feature-length picture. Things moved at a snail’s pace and it eventually fell apart not because of a lack of interest, but because getting that many people to agree on anything is impossible (also, Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp got antsy and decided to make District 9).

Odds are the same fate won’t befall Mortal Kombat, which is heading back to the big screen after a long hiatus thanks to Warner Bros., who owns both the rights to the Mortal Kombat series and has a massive film division. Well that's convenient, isn't it?

Warner Bros.’s New Line Cinema has tapped Kevin Tancharoen to direct their gritty, realistic reboot of the film franchise and is reported to be eying a budget at “well under” $100 million. It's lower than some other gigantic blockbuster films, but still higher than Tancharoen has worked with in the past. He came onto the Mortal Kombat scene with his own self-funded short film, which earned him a gig directing Mortal Kombat: Legacy; a nine-part web series that released alongside recent Mortal Kombat game with a $2 million budget.

Above: Sub-Zero and Scorpion get ready to exchange fisticuffs in Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

With its full-fledged film, New Line is aiming for a 2013 release and hoping that it will be timed in accordance with next game in the Mortal Kombat series. This would open the door to plenty of cross-promotion options, including the possibility of releasing them either concurrently or timed so that they can be bundled together at retail. Considering Warner Bros. is holding all of the cards in this equation, we’ve a feeling they’ll be able to figure out the timing without a problem.

This isn’t the first time Warner Bros. has done everything in-house, either. This year it handled the Green Lantern game and movie, and though neither fared all that well, it’s an initiative that Warner Home Entertainment President Kevin Tsujihara stands behind, and he hopes to continue growing. "It's really important that we show we can bring our game properties to movies,” he said, “instead of just the other way around."

And in case there was any doubt, New Line president Toby Emmerich said that the film’s existence is directly related to the web series. "The new game and the online shorts prompted us to consider a reboot of a brand we hadn’t been actively thinking about," he said, unintentionally adding credibility to every petition, fan fiction, and poorly-animated flash series on the internet.

Thanks, Toby. That’s just what we needed.

Sep 29, 2011

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  • nycsnakeeyes - December 30, 2011 3:43 a.m.

    When an old series is REBOOTED that means they can tell it any way they want. why would i want to sit watching the same ol same from the 90s storyline ? Fight scenes were done with pure talent nothing cheap in this reboot and i cant wait for this to come out
  • jackthemenace - September 30, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    I'll be 18 by then, so if the reviews say it's anywhere NEAR as good as MK Legacy was, I'll watch the SH*T outta that thing.
  • MyCoolWhiteLies - September 30, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    I don't know what you guys saw, but Legacy was pretty terrible. The original concept video was pretty cool and had a lot of interesting ideas, but the series itself just felt like a poor retelling of the games' story. The only episode that did anything remotely interesting was Raidens'.
  • Outlander - September 29, 2011 11:31 p.m.

    I'm very relieved to know Kevin will be directing it, and it will be directly related to the web-series. Legacy was better than any MK fan could have expected for the budget and time they had. Kevin is a huge fan and knows his stuff. There were plenty of neat easter eggs and references for those who know their history, and he stayed pretty faithful to the story. Though, he mixes the new time-line with the old an adds his own ideas to the mix, which is fine. I'm really excited to see what he can do with a bigger budget on the big screen.
  • Meleedragon27 - September 29, 2011 9:34 p.m.

    The Legacy shorts weren't too bad (though I admit to not seeing every episode), it started decently with that whole Sonya/Jax/Kano thing (I couldn't have been the only one who loved the scene where Kano loses his eye). Didn't like how the Johnny Cage episode was initially censored, but it was alright. The Scorpion episode wasn't fantastic and our yellow ninja looked kind of silly with the mask they gave him, but it was nice to see someone dive into his past from back when he was still human (really wish they tried harder with the "Japanese" - I know almost nothing about the language and even I could tell it was just foreign-sounding gibberish as opposed to actual Japanese). Maybe some of these issues will be fixed with a higher budget... and if Sektor and Cyrax appear, I hope the budget allows the staff to at least make some real costumes for them as opposed to the obvious CGI from before (I know it was low-budget, but c'mon, even Annhilation used actual people in costumes).
  • lewis-barclay - September 29, 2011 6:52 p.m.

    omg legacy was the worst thing ever. They went so far off the path from what they originally intended back during the first trailer for rebirth. THAT would have been cool but legacy? Come on
  • EHyundai - September 29, 2011 6:26 p.m.

    god those shorts were awful. Nobody seemed to care about what they did to raiden but i did.
  • Spybreak8 - September 29, 2011 5:50 p.m.

    Nice, Legacy was pretty entertaining.
  • nappynintech11 - September 29, 2011 5:49 p.m.

  • Ryudo - September 29, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    Please no. The 1995 film holds up well and the Legacy was beyond terrible.
  • Doorstop - September 29, 2011 5:57 p.m.

    The 1995 film does not hold up well. Of course, I got into the series with MK9 and I actually liked MK Annihilation, so you might call my opinions useless Fully looking forward to something like this.
  • slimjim441 - September 29, 2011 11:07 p.m.

    Are you sure you watched the same movie? Or the same web series?

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