Mortal Kombat returns to the silver screen

New Line has hired Kevin Tancharoen – a relative newcomer – to direct the new film adaptation of Mortal Kombat, the classic fighting video game.

This is far from the first time the property has been adapted. It’s spawned a pair of films, a television show, and a comic book, but it’s definitely been a few years since we’ve seen a big budget attempt to tell the story.

The tale behind the production is one that makes you eager to see it succeed: Tancharoen, a little known actor who had directed one minor film – the 2009 remake of Fame, got it in his head a few years ago that he wanted to make a new Mortal Kombat film.

To show Warner Bros. that he knew what he was doing, he made a Mortal Kombat short film and posted it on YouTube. The short, Mortal Kombat: Rebirth got lots of hits, and did grab the attention of executives over at Warner Bros. Although they didn’t (originally) recruit Tancharoen for a big screen film, they did ask him to produce a web series based on his own ideas for the Mortal Kombat story.

This became Mortal Kombat: Legacy, a series which shows some serious talent (though not as much vision as the short film in the eyes of many critics), but which, more importantly, saw a wide audience on YouTube – around 50 million unique visitors for the top ranked episodes.

Partly due to this success, New Line (a corporate sibling of Warner Bros.) has been given the go ahead to reboot the film franchise. The word is that this film will not be a remake of the 1995 film, nor will it be connected directly to the video games or web-series. It will be a completely new Mortal Kombat story.

Is this film the beginning of a long career in fantasy film making, like the first one was for Paul W. S. Anderson?

No word yet on any other names being attached to the project, and production as well as release dates have yet to be announced.