Mortal Kombat Rebirth Director Talks Feature Film

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 3:14 pm,

On Tuesday we showed you the incredible Mortal Kombat Rebirth viral trailer. At the time, industry outlets were debating whether or not the trailer was teasing a new Mortal Kombat film reboot or a new video game installment - we thought film reboot, of course.

Now, Kevin Tancharoen, who directed Mortal Kombat Rebirth is discussing the trailer – which is actually a teaser intended to convince Warner Bros. to utilize his take, and subsequently his directorial skills, in the inevitable franchise reboot.

Before reading ahead, don’t forget to check out Tancharoen’s awesome Mortal Kombat Rebirth short film. You can see it – HERE.

Tancharoen covered a lot of ground when he spoke with Collider yesterday – giving a good summary of how the short film came together as well where he’d like to take the larger feature. Judging by the overwhelmingly positive response online, we’re betting the Tancharoen may get his wish.

Apparently, Mortal Kombat Rebirth was produced, primarily, through small favors and volunteer work. Which is pretty amazing considering the high-caliber actors and gritty big-budget look of the film:

“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… 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.”

It’s hard to look at the trailer and believe that it isn’t actually attached to a project already-in-progress, but Tancharoen reveals that no one knew he was working on the Mortal Kombat short:

“This was something I did completely on my own.  However, there is a little bit of a tie-in, because I happen to be friends with Oren Uziel (who was already expected to write a Mortal Kombat reboot for Warner Bros). And since we’re friends, I just called him up and said “Listen, I want to do this.  This is what I have in mind.  I want it to be contained, because I am not a studio with endless amounts of cash.”  Then we started storyboarding from there, and started calling my friends, and started pulling as many favors as I possibly could.   And I was thrilled that they all said yes.”

Reptile Mortal Kombat Rebirth Mortal Kombat Rebirth Director Talks Feature Film

Tancharoen also discusses the gritty, real-life, feel of the film – as well as the potential to upset Mortal Kombat die-hards:

“I would love it if Warner Bros. wanted to do it this way.  But I was so passionate about doing this, that I just had to pick up the camera and do it.  Now like I said, because I am such a fan of the Mortal Kombat series, I know there’s a lot of concern about the mysticism and the special powers and all that kind of stuff.  Well, like I said, this is really designed — 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.”

Casting Scorpion as the main protagonist (even though he’s still an evil guy) in Tancharoen’s vision for the film was, at least in my opinion, the most surprising (but also the most intriguing) deviance from the original films:

“I love Liu Kang, but Liu Kang has been told already in the first and second movies.  Now I want Liu Kang for the tournament.  I don’t want to have to follow him as the main protagonist because that would be repeating the first movie.  Of course, as a kid, to me there were only two characters that I loved.  And it was Scorpion, and Sub-Zero.  And the fact that we haven’t seen their rivalry played out, I think, is a shame.  Because I really want to see that story.  To me there’s nothing better than a really, really good rivalry against each other, and a revenge tale.  It’s all so, to me, gratifying.  I wanted to utilize Scorpion, because he is arguably the most iconic of the Mortal Kombat franchise.”

Scorpion Mortal Kombat Rebirth Mortal Kombat Rebirth Director Talks Feature Film

Tancharoen also covers a number of other topics including his interest in genre films as well as his approach to special moves and fatalities – should Mortal Kombat Rebirth become a reality. You can check out the full Collider interview HERE.

The only truly disappointing note in the interview is the fact that this film isn’t already being made. If you’d asked me 72 hours ago whether I’d go see a new Mortal Kombat film, much less be excited for one, I’d have probably laughed the idea off. Tancharoen has me sold on his vision, and contrary to some detractors, I actually hope that in the final film the director keeps the mysticism in check. The only point of the interview that made me anxious was the analogy to Harry Potter’s two universes. Should Tancharoen get to make this film, I’d be much more interested in the real-world side of things than the “Outworld” side.

In the end, I hope the gritty feel of the trailer wasn’t just the result of Tancharoen’s low funds. It’d be a shame if, given more resources and a big budget, the film lost that vibe.

We’ll keep you posted as we hear more. The timing of the Mortal Kombat Rebirth release was no coincidence – with E3 2010 next week. Warner Bros. has to be scrambling about now, because I’m sure they’d love to lock this down ASAP.

What do you think of the Mortal Kombat Rebirth trailer? What direction would you like to see Tancharoen take the franchise?

Source: Collider

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  1. Additionally, it would be interesting to see how all the characters become who/how they are.

  2. for all the people who see this movie as “fail”, well i think you only looked at the downside of it.

    for me, this interpretation is the best so far compared to the other 2 movies previously made. this movie is very interesting because it has the touch of reality (although there is exaggeration but still its necessary for the “extraordinary” factor), the story is different and never failed to catch peoples attention and by the way, for those people who likes the movie to be very similar to the game, you should get a life. yeah because its mortal kombat so it should be the same as the game, hell no, that is not necessary and that only ruins the artistic plans of the makers. its like watching the same people doing the same thing over and over again which is very boring and not exciting. now, in my opinion, this trailer and its story is a good revolution in making films based on games. this movie should be realised and should be given the chance to be shown on cinemas.

    • I think this is a way better version of mortal combat than the first one! I watched the first one when it came out & it was to cheezy then when i was like 10 & its too cheezy now, especially when im almost hitting 30. I gotta say this is such a good short film, especially with a budget of 7500 dall. I just hope you keep the same vission & concept if Warner Bros does dicede to fund you! Dont loose that mind set! I really really hope to see this bad ass dream of yours!

      • I hate this video are they serious with this come on do better.

  3. we need this…this is something that adults have been waiting for…the people that played mortal kombat games and watch the cheesy movies in the 90′s are adults now …we should see mortal kombat for what it always been, but a alternate version…it is time..Mortal Kombat rebirth is giving the anticipation of what we as “80 babies” are looking for. Warner give it the greenlight..Make a movie that’s going to make millions than make chump change..Because splice is not one of those million dollar movies. Warner Bros this is a movie that will not be a waste of your money..It’s new, it’s gritty and this is a movie that people did not expect..That’s where the excitement begins.

  4. I would just like to say. We have already seen films being re-imaged in the real sense. I mean, we have street fighter, fight club etc, I know people keep saying ‘realism realism realism’, but we can’t always be too dam real about some games. Mortal kombat rebirth could work well still even with outerworld and other realms, it will work with the netherealm etc. I think that they could make the mysticism but in a serious manner and not like the second movie, but make it more creative and serious and bloody that it will be suitable to watch. I’m sure they can pull it of without being cheesy this time around, because this director has already done a brilliant job with the rebirth film-short.

  5. This new dark gritty approach could definatly work but don’t leave out the mysticism!! Take constantine for example, that was fantasy but stil dark and gritty and super cool

  6. really loving the look and the vision that we are seeing and the direction that its going in.
    however i would of love to see johnny cage used instead of being killed off, the fact his a main character of the series especially in the earlier games, he could be used effectively in the tournament part of the film.
    Maybe because we have skipped ahead in time a bit we could of used someone like a stryker to be following baraka at the start as he was already a cop to start with. Im pretty sure also in the games they have history that could lead to strykers death and would give that little bit of appeal to fans and attract new people as well.
    Other than that i like the idea of a new MK movie something a little bit more realistic just hope the powers and mysticism isnt lost in the process all together or done half arsed.

  7. Im loving the whole Mortal Kombat craze!! Hopefully it will go ahead with the best efforts to be a huge success. I dont think that the story should be changed, but still i agree that we need a new characters perspective and story to tell- none other than scorpion or subzero. Im only 15, half the age of some die-hard fans, and it appeals to my age group too. Ive grown up fixed on Mortal Kombat and i too cant wait!!!
    I highly reccomend that the production and planning take time to make the SFX stunning!!

  8. The direction he’s on is perfect we are all tired of seeing the same Lu kang hero and knowing what’s gonna happen before the movie starts scorpion is the most iconic character in the game and it’s great to finally get something to show the story between him and subzero I wouldn’t change a thing keep building on what u already have. I’m super pumped

  9. I’ve been a MK fan since it’s first game came out. The 2 previous movies was what I would call it an average movies, but could of been better. This MK:Rebirth really made me excited and wanted to see more, and it reminds me of why I like MK, I hope there will be a movie of this and will be on production, otherwise all the excitement that I had for this will be for nothing, and it’s sad to end it like this

  10. make this movie HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. If Kevin Does this movie and keeps the same cast!! 10/10 Someone else does it it will be extra cheesy 2.5/10

  12. I love the whole idea of this movie and the fact that the director pulled of that short film with only $7500 just shows you what he can do if he had more money….make this movie and let him use his way….NOW!!!!lol

  13. This would be an awesome movie and if they are smart they will make, they already have a good choice in actors. Spending good time, and money invested in this film, and it will make millions!!

  14. Amazing trailer, this movie have to be made!

  15. i love this new idea, i believe its about time to take this in real world situations, like the spear scorpion uses in the trailer vs. the spear he used in the first one which is like some sort of snake…..(also in the games.. its just a spear not a snake/serpent) the realistic version has it beat by far. Im a huge MK fan and i think this is exactly what it needs tbh. im not so sure about the people complaining about the whole, -its not the same with someone throwing a fireball or morphing-. why don’t you like the reality of it? first of all, its coming back, MK is back and well finally!! second, its a different perspective with scorpion vs subzero. Not Liu Kang.. thankfully. It will be great, and trust me, the haters that will say its not the same and the whole thing will fail… will still pay to go watch it regardless… ( if its a film, not web episodes) so why are you saying you wont see it? could be the best change MK has had. Ill definitely be watching it :D

  16. I really think that this movie should b made at first I thought it was a trailer and was excited to know when it comes out cause I wanted to see it.. But later found out there still trying to have it made kills me cause it makes the wait so much longer I can’t to see it cause I hope it is actually made it would be a great movie to see wb u need to make this happen.!!

  17. I watched the first mortal kombat movie last night and while I still enjoy watching it, its cheesy. The second movie was ridiculous. Im 26 now and have been playing the games since the first MK came out on super nintendo.

    If this movie was to come out the target audience would be massive because the MK franchise has been so big for so long. The darker the better. This could be bigger than the marvel super hero movies because there is so many different characters. The big film companies should snap this opportunity up and exploit everything about the MK saga and thus redeem themselves from the 1st and 2nd movie. Look at the new Batman movies, they made gotham city dark and gothic and rejuvenated the Batman persona into a badass. It worked right?
    Mortal Kombat could be better. Everybody goes Scorpionin the game! And he’s the main character in the movie. If there is ever going to be one.
    Ill be the first in line at the movies, so hurry up and make it!