It's been 14 years since Sub-Zero, Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade and Raiden were in theaters, but in 2013, they'll be back.New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Interactive are partnering to bring Mortal Kombat back to the big screen -- and they may just be able to redeem the franchise's long tarnished cinematic legacy.
The first MK film, which was released in 1995, was hardly a masterpiece, but enough fans embraced it that it spawned a critically-derided 1997 sequel. Last March, a digital short entitled Mortal Kombat: Rebirth appeared on YouTube, however, which quickly became a sensation.
Warner signed the creator of that short, Kevin Tancharoen, to direct nine live-action shorts to lead up to this year's new installment of the game, which ultimately proved to be one of the most successful in the series.
Now Tancharoen has been named as the director of the new feature-length film, which is exactly what he had hoped for when making that speculative short in the first place.
"The bigger thing for me, of course, is I want to translate this to a feature," he said earlier this year. "I would love to tell the stories that lead the character up to a certain point, then have them merge together in a big 3D movie."
It was, in fact, Tancharoen's short films that got Hollywood thinking about rebooting the franchise.
"The new game and the online shorts prompted us to consider a reboot of a brand we hadn't been actively thinking about," said New Line president Toby Emmerich.
The film will be written by Tancharoen's partner on the shorts and will likely come out in conjunction with the next Mortal Kombat game. Still undetermined is whether the stars of the Web series will reprise their roles in the big budget version.
- Sonya Blade