The Making of the Mystery Mortal Kombat Mini-Movie

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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The Making of the Mystery Mortal Kombat Mini-Movie


The director of the amazing Mortal Kombat short that turned up this week has finally spoken out about how and why he made it, and what he'd like to do if he was ever handed the keys to the franchise.

You might have heard about a little video that's been kicking around the internet over the last couple of days. It's about bad guys, and worse guys, with funny names like Reptile and Baraka, Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage, and how they're all going to get together somewhere and beat each other to death for fun and money. It's a 21st century twist on Mortal Kombat [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/101195-Mystery-Mortal-Kombat-Trailer-Will-Blow-You-Away] and it is utterly awesome.

The man behind it is The Search for the Next Doll [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1160495/]. I So how did a guy like that end up turning Reptile into a horrifically-diseased mass murderer?

"Forever, I've been nothing but a lover of comic books and video games. I've been immersed in the fanboy culture. That's me as a person," he explained in an interview with Collider.com [http://www.collider.com/2010/06/09/kevin-tancharoen-interview-mortal-kombat-rebirth-feature-film/]. "As a kid, all I wanted to do was be a Ninja Turtle who morphed to a Power Ranger... 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."

Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, as it's "officially" known, was shot over two days and cost just $7500, along with a lot of donated time and equipment and a script from Tancharoen's friend Mortal Kombat [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3349927/] reboot planned for 2013. That limited budget had a lot to do with the film's grounding in the real world, although Tancharoen noted that the mystical element of the story would definitely be present in a full-blown project. "I couldn't go balls-to-the-wall on visual effects," he said. "I had to utilize what I could and make the best of it. I want the mysticism to be treated carefully and with integrity."

And what about putting Scorpion front and center? "Listen, Scorpion is the bad guy and will stay a bad guy. His motives are personal," he continued. "If Jax and Sonya can coattail off that revenge, awesome. But Scorpion does not care."

Regardless of what you may think of his take on the property, it's clear through the interview that Tancharoen is a huge and dedicated Mortal Kombat fan. I don't know how likely it is that Warner will put him behind the wheel but given what he did with this short film, I can think of far worse ideas.


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Cowabungaa

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Feb 10, 2008
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I knew there was a fan behind that mini-movie, there had to be. If only more big fans were behind previous game-to-movie adaptations, then perhaps they wouldn've sucked so much.
 

Disaster Button

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Feb 18, 2009
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I love this guy. He must be allowed to make this movie or the world will suffer my wrath.. or maybe I'll just cry.
 

Sparecash

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Dec 24, 2008
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I really hope he gets to produce this movie.
Films need more directors who are willing to try new things and take some unique risks.
 

AvsJoe

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May 28, 2009
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If he has the ability to create a full-length feature MK film at the same level of quality as this short, there is no good reason for him *not* to helm the project, previous filmography be damned.
 

MovieBob

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Dec 31, 2008
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I'm not a fan of the actual video AS a "Mortal Kombat" piece, but the guy's technical chops are nothing to sneeze at. That only cost $7500? Yeah, color me impressed.

Still... I find myself thinking the same thing I do in reaction a lot of these fan-films or "proof of concept" re-imaginings: His revamped versions of the characters have next to nothing to do with who they're "supposed" to be visually or otherwise... and if he can pull something that (technically) impressive-looking off independently I honestly wish he'd forget about beggin a studio rights-holder for a franchise gig, call his newly-invented characters something else and just make his OWN thing. I mean, that's more-or-less how "Watchmen" happened...
 

Miumaru

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May 5, 2010
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MovieBob said:
I'm not a fan of the actual video AS a "Mortal Kombat" piece, but the guy's technical chops are nothing to sneeze at. That only cost $7500? Yeah, color me impressed.

Still... I find myself thinking the same thing I do in reaction a lot of these fan-films or "proof of concept" re-imaginings: His revamped versions of the characters have next to nothing to do with who they're "supposed" to be visually or otherwise... and if he can pull something that (technically) impressive-looking off independently I honestly wish he'd forget about beggin a studio rights-holder for a franchise gig, call his newly-invented characters something else and just make his OWN thing. I mean, that's more-or-less how "Watchmen" happened...
Well, though not exactly like the real ones, his are more close to the material than most other reboots and such. Id prefer it closer too, but the way he did it, I can deal with. Hell, he even had in that Scorpion killed the older brother Sub Zero whos brother became the new one. I literally squealed at that. (Noob Saibot!!!)
 

tehroc

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Jul 6, 2009
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Aw I was hoping for the semi realistic gritty non magical world they presented in the trailer. Id rather see a low budget film with great action scenes then some CGI fantasy garbage.
 

Tom Phoenix

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Mar 28, 2009
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Considering how great of a job he did with a limited budget, I would say that it certainly wouldn't harm the movie if they tasked him with making it.
 

Julianking93

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May 16, 2009
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Hollywood, if you have even the slightest ounce of common sense left, you'll hire this man.

Sure the Pussycat dolls suck and that Fame remake was nothing short of utter shit, but this guy's got the right idea and might make the first good and truly awesome game movie.
 

ThreeKneeNick

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Aug 4, 2009
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STOP saying it's awesome in every single article... Can't we have opinions of our own and some unbiased journalism?
 

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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Julianking93 said:
Hollywood, if you have even the slightest ounce of common sense left, you'll hire this man.

Sure the Pussycat dolls suck and that Fame remake was nothing short of utter shit, but this guy's got the right idea and might make the first good and truly awesome game movie.

Hmmm, not really. See, one of the problems with game movies is oftentimes that they aren't loyal enough to the source material. While you could make a decent movie out of the "underground freak fighting circuit" that this guy presented, I don't think you could make a good "Mortal Kombat" movie out of it, because honestly all he used was a few of the names from the game.

Now I suppose if they made a video game out of that premise first, and had it succeed well as a reboot, then they could consider a movie going over fairly well, but if your typical gamer was to watch that they would go "WTF, that isn't Mortal Kombat!". The liberties they were taking with some of the characters were just as bad as what they did to characters like Deadpool in the "Wolverine" movie that caused a substantial outcry... well worse even.

That said, while not as well known as the Street Fighter cast, the Mortal Kombat characters are still pretty iconic. I don't think there is any real need to mess around with the characters or premise or anything at this point.

What they need is some better game design because in the end it's been the gameplay itself (compared to other fighters) that seemed to hurt the last few Mortal Kombat games.

What's more, I would also think they might want to consider going back to the basics on some levels. What made Mortal Kombat stand out originally was that it used real people who had been digitized for the game. I think once they started going with 'toons/graphics it lost a good portion of what set it apart, and without that gimmick it lead to more criticism of the gameplay itself.

Looking at what they can do with green screen, synthespians (computer generated constructs of real actors in movies), and other techniques, there is definatly a lot of potential that could be exploited for making another "digitized fighting game".

For obvious reasons using the original digitized actors probably wouldn't work at this point (well in most cases), but they could for example keep the characters and storylines the same/continueing, pick new people to play the differant guys, and then go back to the "basics" of having a game where your basically controlling video of real people fighting, rather than cartoons following the motions of what were real people in mocap suits.
 

Kross

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Sep 27, 2004
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3nimac said:
STOP saying it's awesome in every single article... Can't we have opinions of our own and some unbiased journalism?
You'll think what we tell you to think.

AC10 said:
I demand to know why he killed Johnny Cage.
That part made me happy, I always thought Cage was a bit of a jerk. Not that the others are much better (except maybe Jax/Sonja/Raiden), but he just seemed like a smarmy bastard.
 

Herr Wozzeck

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Oct 23, 2009
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Awesome. I hope this project goes through. I mean, 7500 dollars? Why is it all the good things are made on low budget? (points to District 9, with it's budget of only 30 million) This guy certainly knows how to use his money well.

And the mystical elements will still be there. I can't wait to see how he integrates it into the otherwise very realistic world we have here.