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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Multiplatform
PUBLISHER:
Warner Bros. Games
DEVELOPER:
NetherRealm Studios
GENRE: Fighting
PLAYERS:   1-2
RELEASE DATE:
April 19, 2011
ESRB RATING:
Mature
IN THE SERIES
Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe

Ultimate Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

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Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat
 Written by Troy Matsumiya  on June 10, 2010

Special: Toasty!


As you probably know by now, there is a YouTube viral video of a supposed Mortal Kombat movie teaser sweeping Earthrealm. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out right here and enjoy. I'll wait.



Okay, done? Now wipe that drool off your chin because sadly, the video isn't a ?real? movie trailer ? that is to say, it's not for a movie currently in development. Instead, it was created by director Kevin Tancharoen as a concept pitch to Warner Brothers for a franchise reboot. This was confirmed by Jeri ?Sonya Blade? Ryan, who commented on her Twitter account, ?Okay, so... Mortal Kombat. It's not a game trailer. Actually was made for the director to sell WB on his vision for a reimagined MK film.? She also tweeted, ?More MK FAQs: I did it as a favor to a friend. No idea yet what WB's reaction to it was. And I'm not sure how you can contact WB... (cont.) to push them to make it. But you guys are resourceful...! ;-)?

In an interview with collider.com, Tancharoen himself stated that it was a personal project of love with no involvement (or permission) from Warner Brothers. He also pulled back the curtain for a peek behind the scenes, revealing that he spent $7,500 of his own money to make the video, which was shot in only two days. The big fight scene was shot in only four hours, and the script was penned by his friend Oren Uziel, who just so happens to be the official writer signed by Warner Brothers for the next MK movie. Tancharoen states, "It all started at the beginning of April and it took two months to do all the post and the editing. I edited it myself and the visual effects were great people donating their time. It turned out to be pretty awesome. I was very, very happy about it."

Hundreds of thousands of MK fans agree, so much so that the studio would be foolish not to give it the green light.



It's obvious right from the start that Tancharoen envisions a darker, grittier and more realistic version of the beloved fighting series. This is in stark contrast to his previous work directing dance and musical projects featuring Britney Spears, The Pussycat Dolls, and his most recent work, the remake of Fame.

Now before you have nightmare visions of Scorpion suddenly breaking into song about how he's gonna live forever and gonna learn how to fly (high!), consider that choreographing and shooting exciting fight scenes is essentially identical to doing complex dance routines. And as you can see from the video, Tancharoen and fight choreographer Larnell Stovall definitely know how to stage some furious fisticuffs.

Tancharoen's reimagining of the MK universe appears to toss the mystical and supernatural elements out the window in favor of something a bit more grounded. Reptile is no longer a creature from Outworld, but instead a Hannibal Lector-like serial killer suffering from a rare genetic disorder. Baraka (played by Lateef Crowder) is a psychotic plastic surgeon who operates on himself by mutilating his face, sharpening his teeth and implanting retractable steel blades in his arms. Needless to say, this is nothing like the campy films of the 1990s.

Michael Jai White is perfect as Jax, who is now a growling hard-boiled cop. Jeri Ryan as his partner Sonya was a pleasant surprise, as was watching Johnny Cage (well played by Matt Mullins) get the crap beaten out of him (as you can guess, he's not my favorite character). However, the absolute best part was revealing the mysterious prisoner as Hanzo Hasashi, a.k.a. fan favorite Scorpion, as the film's protagonist (coldly played by Ian Anthony Dale).

Despite all the changes, fans will notice Tancharoen stayed true to Scorpion's hatred of Sub-Zero, who had a brother that took the same Sub-Zero persona. The very last shot also reveals that the franchise's famed mysticism is not totally gone, as Scorpion is indeed still a spectre. Tancharoen stated, ?Now, in a movie version, I am going to have that mysticism there, but it has to be done in a very tasteful way. I wouldn't like it too campy or too cheesy. I know this is a weird analogy, but it's the best one I can think of right now. It's kind of like when in Harry Potter, there's two universes that coexist with each other. There's the real world, and then you get on the train and then you go to Hogwart's, and that's where all the magic is.?

Fan reaction has been, to say the least, overwhelmingly enthusiastic. The video speaks for itself ? it simply oozes coolness. Audiences today are much more sophisticated; they don't want the childish, cartoony superhero films of the past. Instead, they want something for grownups, something more mature, gritty and believable like Christopher Nolan's Batman films and the rebooted Battlestar Galactica. And Tancharoen delivers.

There hasn't been this much excitement over a video since Neill Blomkamp's Halo 3 short films. Unlike Halo, however, a new MK movie has a far greater chance of being made. The fan response is no doubt making waves at Warner Brothers, and the wheels are probably turning as we speak. If the film is approved, it is likely the cast will change but as my buddy Poondoggie says, ?I don't think you bust out the Michael Jai White unless it's movie time.? Indeed, Tancharoen himself wants White as the movie's lead.

And hot on the heels of the video comes a teaser for the next Mortal Kombat game, which is returning to its roots with battles taking place along the classic linear 2-D plane, and bringing back the beloved gory, over-the-top M-rated Fatalities. MK fans have endured many ups and downs over the years but wow, things have never looked better.

Final Thoughts
The video leaves so many questions unanswered. Where's the franchise's hero, Liu Kang? Will we see Kano, Raiden, Kitana, Shao Kahn or any other of the dozens of characters we've grown to love or hate over the years? The only way to find out is to speak up on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Internet forums everywhere, and convince Warner Brothers to make it happen. Tancharoen wins! Flawless theatricality!



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