It is shaping up to be a big month for the Mortal Kombat franchise. Next week the series will return to consoles with the eagerly awaited and aptly named Mortal Kombat, something that should delight the game’s gore loving fans everywhere. The game which is not a reboot (although it kinda is), will serve as a starting point for new fans of the series, as well as a way to simplify the storyline which has gotten somewhat unruly of late. Realism has never been a major influence on the story of the series, but things were getting a bit out of hand with robots, dead assassins and cyborg cops.
But before you can get your hands around the throat of Kano in the game, you can watch a live action version of him, Sonya Blade, Jax and more in the coming weeks, thanks to the recently debuted web-based series, Mortal Kombat Legacy.
The series began thanks to Kevin Tancharoen (Fame), a former music video director who had an idea on how to make Mortal Kombat work as a live action film grounded in a sense of gritty realism, in the same way that Christopher Nolan’s Batman avoids the comic book pitfalls that could have plagued the Batman universe. Tanchareon’s Mortal Kombat would be to the old MK films, what Nolan’s Batman was to the Burton.Schumacher films.
To prove this, the director decided to create a short-film set in our world, but using Mortal Kombat characters. The film, titled Mortal Kombat Rebirth, starred Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight, Black Dynamite) and Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager, Down With Love). Paid for with his own money, the director then took the video to Warner Bros as a pitch for a possible new film series. You can see the original video here, although be warned, it is somewhat gory and not safe for work.
Warner nixed the movie idea, but commissioned Tancharoen to create a series of 10-episodes to be aired online. Each episode will be over 10 minutes, but no set release schedule has been given.
The episodes will debut exclusively on Machinima. Michael Jai White and Jeri Ryan return to their roles as Jax and Sonya Blade, and Tahmoh Penikett (Battlestar Galactica, Dollhouse) joins the cast as Stryker.
Check out the first episode below, be beware of NSFW language and adult themes.
[Warning: The Following trailer may not be suitable for all ages]