In one of the more unlikely reboots of recent years, Warner Bros has confirmed that Mortal Kombat will be getting a makeover. Warner executive Lance Sloan has confirmed that a new Mortal Kombat film has been set in stone, while also revealing the kind of budget the project’s director will be working with.
“We’re preparing right now for the film with Kevin Tancharoen, [who] directed the digital series for us,” said Sloan. “He’s at the helm of the forty, fifty million dollar film.”
No concrete details have been confirmed as yet, but word is the new film will follow a supermarket employee who discovers he has bizarre, otherworldly powers that lead him towards a pivotal choice between good and evil – surely a situation that everyone can empathize with.
In 2010, Tancharoen created an eight-minute film entitled Mortal Kombat: Rebirth starring Michael Jai White as Jax, Jeri Ryan as Sonya Blade, Matt Mullins as Johnny Cage, Ian Anthony Dale as Scorpion and Lateef Crowder as Baraka. The film was a much darker take on the video game series than the original Mortal Kombat film that was released in 1995 and was directed by Paul W. S. Anderson.
The short film portrayed the original game’s story in a realistic way; a concept Tancharoen eventually submitted to Warner Bros. with the intention of getting the green-light for production on a re-imagined Mortal Kombat film. Warner Bros. declined to back the film, despite the attention and positive fan reception; but, Tancharoen did receive the go-ahead to shoot the web series, Mortal Kombat: Legacy. Oren Uziel, who wrote the original short film, Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, but was not involved in the web series, is returning to pen the story, while no actors or other crew members have been confirmed.
New Line President Toby Emmerich said that the success of the video games combined with Tancharoen’s vision means “You don’t have to squint too hard to see how it might make a good movie”. Tancharoen says discussions have only concerned an R-rating, with darker, brutally real martial arts. Tancharoen had discussions at the 2011 Comic Con with Uziel and Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon and said to expect a very big origin story with the sensibility and realism of Rebirth and Legacy as opposed to the traditional Mortal Kombat mythology. He said, “I’ve always been a fan of properties like Batman where you can expand the universe in different directions. Mortal Kombat is big enough that you can allow for multiple different kinds of storytelling.”
Tancharoen told Comingsoon.net “This is a dream come true for me. I’m really happy that New Line and Warner Bros. saw the potential after the Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series we did and the numbers that the videogame has done. I’m extremely grateful because it’s been a big, big journey for me.”
In 2011 Tancharoen said that the reboot had a tentative release date for sometime in 2013, but as of now no release date has been announced by the studio.