The Short Film and Story Behind Mortal Kombat: Rebirth

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Last week a seven minute short film spread like wild fire across the Interwebs and had geeks salivating by the buckets full. Mortal Kombat: Rebirth has now had close to four million views and rising. This short film puzzled viewers as to the origin and what this was promoting if it was promoting anything at all. With E3 on it’s way many thought it was to promote a new video game, others believed it was a promo for a new movie coming out, and some just thought it was made for fun.

The day Mortal Kombat: Rebirth was released, Jeri Ryan, who portrays Sonya Blade, tweeted,

“It’s not a game trailer. Actually was made for the director to sell WB on his vision for a reimagined MK film.”

The other actors in the film are slightly known, Michael Jai White (Jax), Matt Mullins (Johnny Cage), Lateef Crowder (Baraka) and Ian Anthony Dale (Scorpion) with fight choreography by Larnell Stovall.

The short was directed by the man who did the movie Fame, Kevin Tancharoen. Collider.com got the exclusive interview on the details of how this short film came to realization. It was shot in April for two days on a budget of only $7,500, with most of the crew donating their time for the project. Oren Uziel wrote the screenplay, who is attached to write the next Mortal Kombat movie according to IMDb. In fact, Kevin Tancharoen shot this specifically as a pitch for the next Mortal KombatWarner Bros. and hopes that they will listen to the cries of fans to get this made. film over at

We have had two live action films so far, one being decently entertaining and the other one mildly bearable. It’s about time someone has gotten it a little more right and go towards the brutality that the Mortal Kombat franchise embraces. If this actually does get placed into production, hopefully it will be as well done as the short film is and sustain the tone that it laid out. Watch the short film and see for yourself. Check it out in full HD 1080p Here!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_MqZn7E-mk&feature=player_embedded

Some excerpts from Kevin Tancharoen from the Collider interview:

I had been thinking about this for awhile now.  Just in passing, I’ve always had these conversations about “Mortal Kombat” because everyone was talking about rebooting the movie. I guess that’s the popular term everyone uses now. Reboot, reboot, let’s just take everything and reboot it. Of course I had my opinions on it, because of the first two movies, and because I was such an avid fan of the game. I was a quarter dispenser, and I don’t know how much I spent over at the Sherman Oaks golf course, whatever that place is called now.  Right by the Galleria. And I had a lot of opinions on it. I really, really thought that something special could be made there.  And it got to a point where we just kept talking about it, and I just had to do it. It took over a two-month span of time. I shot this whole thing in two days on two Red cameras that were donated to me with a group of friends who all believed in the cause.  We shot it at Lacey Street Studios on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and we just kind of had fun with it.  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.  It’s one of those passion projects that lived in my head.  The technology is so accessible now.  There’s was no reason why I shouldn’t do it, so I did it.  I’m very, very happy that people are responding well to it.  I know that there’s definitely a handful of purists that have their opinions on the mysticism and the mythos of Mortal Kombat.  But I do have an answer for that: this is just a prelude to what my movie version would be. And of course, when you’re working by yourself, you have a limited resource of budget. I made this thing for $7,500. I couldn’t go balls-to-the-wall on visual effects. I had to utilize what I could and make the best of it.  I want the mysticism to be treated carefully and with integrity. We just kind of went for it, and did it.  And everyone was available, they believed in the project.  We picked up the camera, and we went, and we didn’t stop.

Originally it was just the short, and that’s it.  But I didn’t even know if there would be an appetite for more. Yes, we have behind-the-scenes footage. Of course I had someone there shooting all the footage and the behind-the-scenes work and that kind of stuff.  But we didn’t do anything with it.  It was kind of my personal video. I didn’t edit it or anything so it would act as a featurette.  But if it’s something that fans want to see, I would definitely put it out. The fight scene was also cut down a little bit.  We only had four hours to shoot that. So I was running and gunning. Me and the fight choreographer had bigger plans, but then once you get there on set, and there’s so many other obstacles to jump over, you have to start trimming.  But there is a longer version of that fight that has a little bit more groundwork. Like, MMA groundwork. That slowed us down in the short film, but was pretty cool on its own.  Maybe I’ll release that as well.

It’s one of those passion projects that lived in my head. The technology is so accessible now. There’s was no reason why I shouldn’t do it, so I did it. I’m very, very happy that people are responding well to it. …My heart has always been deeply immersed in fanboy culture. As a kid, all I wanted to do was be a Ninja Turtle who morphed to a Power Ranger. As long as I was in the suit, I was going to be happy, because I just wanted to be in the suit. I think, of course, for the people that know me, this is not really a shock. Because they know that this is my love. And I do understand that it’s crazy to see such a shift in genre. But this is what I want to do, and this is what I’ve always wanted to do, and am very passionate about. And I knew that because I’ve always been in the performance world, if I ever wanted to make a genre picture, I had to do it myself first. So that was another reason why I felt like I should do this. And I went for it. … this is my take on what I would want to do with Mortal Kombat. I would love it if Warner Bros. wanted to do it this way. … the short so far is really designed like a prologue to the movie. 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. It was actually kind of similar in the first Mortal Kombat, too. They had to get on the ship and go to the island, and that’s where all the crazy stuff happened.

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