Last year we were ever-so-briefly perplexed by a surprisingly well-produced, but still obviously low-budget viral video entitled Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. Mixing the urban grime of Seven with Nolan-like instincts for grounding crazy characters in something that at least makes a friendly nod in the direction of reality, the short is a 9 minute attempt at re-sparking the Mortal Kombat franchise as something modern and dark, stripping the blood and guts of any humor. Naturally the internet loved it.
While some thought it was a gaming company’s publicity stunt, it turned out to be a proof-of-concept type short made with the goal of shaping the reboot of Mortal Kombat that Warner Brothers has long been said to be interested in. Bizarrely, it was Fame director Kevin Tancharoen who put together the short, which boasts mad choreography from Larnell Stovall and Michael Jai White as Jax, and he hoped it would land him the gig as the director of a new Mortal Kombat film.
Tancharoen’s ambition didn’t succeed exactly how he originally intended but, to the delight of thousands of amateur filmmakers who waste their time on fan films, he caught enough of Warner Brother’s attention that they’ve greenlit a web-series based on the short. Tanchareon will direct the 10-episode series in Vancouver, and he’ll write it along with TV scribes Todd Helbing and Aaron Helbing. Michael Jai White is set to return as Jax, which will make this series worth watching right off the bat.
Who’s to say if this isn’t some kind of waters-testing move that could lead to a full on feature film, but for now Warner Brothers will likely end up with more than a feature’s worth of content for what will likely be a fraction of the cost. It also lets them dip their toes in online-only content once again, with an already successful video to use as a bedrock. Only a few months ago Warner Brothers greenlit two series of web-exclusive hour-long shows to be produced by well known names, so this new move suggests WB is really looking to figure out what works on the web. They’re already angling to be the most aggressive and progressive of the studios in the burgeoning field of web content, and I hope this experiment serves them well. I would imagine WB is looking for a little bit more of a faithful take for their actual big-screen Mortal Kombat reboot, but there’s no reason Rebirth can’t form the mold for a successful string of episodic content. It’s promising that the studio seems to get the appeal of the short, even if they realize it might not work on the big screen.
Since there doesn’t seem to be a fast-tracked Mortal Kombat film in place right now, I have a feeling it will be on hold till this series debuts. If it’s wildly successful then obviously WB might reconsider fashioning a feature-length project after it, otherwise this series can be what it is and they can move on with whatever modern flashy 3D reboot they pull trigger on. Regardless, we’ll always have the aggressively okay original.
Source | Bloody-Disgusting