Mortal Kombat may be one of the best-selling video game series in history, but the brand hasn’t had an easy time getting on the big screen. The initial 1995 film adaptation – directed by a pre-Resident Evil Paul W.S. Anderson – scored fairly well at the box office, but its lackluster sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, effectively put the budding film franchise to rest just two years later.
Things had been looking up for fans of the notoriously violent video games when filmmaker Kevin Tancharoen resurrected the live-action version of the franchise, first with his Mortal Kombat: Rebirth short film and then with the hit web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy. Previous reports had Tancharoen leading the charge to bring Sub-Zero, Scorpion and numerous other fan-favorite combatants back to the big screen, but that’s no longer going to happen.
Tancharoen took to Twitter to make the announcement that he has left the big-screen Mortal Kombat reboot.
After 3 years of Kombat,I've decided to move on to other creative opportunities. I wish everyone involved in the movie big success. Thanks!— Kevin Tancharoen (@KTANCH) October 25, 2013
The director offered no explanation why he was leaving the project, and it remains unconfirmed if Tancharoen’s disassociation from development of the new Mortal Kombat film also means he’s no longer tied to any potential future seasons of Legacy, though season 3 is far from a sure thing at this point anyway. It’s possible that the studio lost confidence in the director’s ability to deliver a successful film – especially one with a budget once reported to be as high as $50 million – or perhaps Tancharoen chose to leave the project over creative differences.
Regardless of the reasoning behind it, fans of Mortal Kombat: Legacy are sure to take this turn of events especially hard. The director’s sudden departure from the film certainly comes as a surprise, given how had become prone to talking up the in-development film. Just recently, he was discussing how the project would essentially serve as a “war film” and would serve as a standalone experience entirely separate from Legacy.
To many fans, it appeared clear that Tancharoen had proven himself a worthy steward of the Mortal Kombat universe and had a specific vision in mind for the new film. Here’s hoping that another filmmaker with as much passion in the property can swoop in and save the prospect of a new Mortal Kombat film from sinking back into development hell.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest updates on the new Mortal Kombat film.