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.”
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.”
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?