A highly suspect, but extremely well produced video was uploaded to YouTube, under the account MortalKombatRebirth, yesterday featuring several Mortal Kombat characters in a live-action scripted scene. Questions are abound as there are absolutely no studio credits at the end or beginning of the video. WB Games has been producing cinema quality "viral" videos to promote their games, namely F.E.A.R. 3. Could this be a similar promotional video for Mortal Kombat 9?
UPDATE: It was an independent director's pitch to Warner Bros. See updates below for more detail.
The scene begins in a smoldering "Deacon City, Year: 2010" and features "Captain" Jackson (with the 'ON' scrapped off of the glass office door) Briggs (Michael Jai White) and Sonya Blade (Jeri Ryan) briefing a man named "Hanzo Hasashi", aka Scorpion about the rise of two killers nicknamed, Reptile and Baraka.
Scorpion is informed that a man he thought was Sub-Zero was killed, was actually Sub-Zero's brother. At 7:11 of the clip, a quick flash of the below image displays Sub-Zero's new look.
It is also possible that this could be an independent studio that created this teaser trailer for technical demonstration. Too much is unknown to be able to come to a definite conclusion. Also, the timing of the video seems too convenient to be released almost a week from E3 2010. What is absolutely known is that the production value is extremely high to simply ignore, especially since the video is rendered in full 1080p High Definition.
Update 2:30pm CST: We're hearing that this video is not anything seen before by those involved with creating Mortal Kombat 9 at WB Games. So if it is created by WB as a viral marketing clip, it was done with very few people involved or in the know. We're still waiting for an official comment at this time though.
It does appear to star Michael Jai White from the Spawn movie and more recently The Dark Knight. So it's either a very clever work of fakery or something more serious is being created.
Update 5:50pm: It appears Latino Review is saying this is a test shoot that was done "for Warner Brothers to get funding for a full blown hard 'R' MK movie." They confirm it was Kevin Tancharoen who directed it, along with revealing most of the rest of the cast. This is more likely something the director pitched to Warner Bros himself along with some industry backers. If Warner Bros. wanted it made they wouldn't have leaked it especially if it differs much from the massive marketing plan that is about to launch for Mortal Kombat 9 next week. It's very likely it is a rejected pitch that the people behind it wanted to get out to drum up some support for their vision of a Mortal Kombat remake.
Update 6/9/2010: Another confirmation that this was a pitch to Warner Bros. regarding a director's vision of remaking the Mortal Kombat movie series. Actress, Jeri Ryan, confirms on her Twitter account that it was a pitch to studio heads for director Kevin Tancharoen.
It appears that finally there is an answer to this mystery video. It was not produced by Warner Bros. and neither was it produced to hype the upcoming Mortal Kombat 9 video game. Granted, the timing of this release couldn't be better. E3 2010 is just around the corner and everyone has Mortal Kombat on the brain. It has definitely gotten the attention of the Internet and it is spreading like wildfire. It seems like an even bigger stage is now set for the unveiling of Mortal Kombat 9.
High production values doesn't mean that it's not independently made; it's not about what you have, it's how you use it.
The short was directed by Kevin Tancharoen, who does have experience (rules out threshold). Whether he acted alone or had backers, they had to have some kind of pull in order to get those actors.
Don't assume that the new film is this project. You may just be looking at a lone short film.
What you're suggesting makes less sense than what's been speculated. A high budget independent short that's unrelated to two major upcoming MK projects. One of which is seeing a 2010 release. Threshold isn't a small, inexperienced company either.
EDIT: You can just edit your post Vali. No need for successive posts to up your post count.
If this is indeed made by WB, something serious is going on. The short looks extremely well done for it to be fake.
If that's Baraka, then there's pretty much nothing left of the MK background. Everything has been modernised. And I'll assume that cage won't be resurrected this time?
Originally Posted by : Jinko If this is indeed made by WB, something serious is going on. The short looks extremely well done for it to be fake.
I can confirm it's not by WB Games, so this has NOTHING to do with this leak. And it doesn't sound like something even WB the parent company would do, this stinks of lazy leaking not a sly viral marketing attempt by a major corporation. Read the update to the news post to see my thoughts.
Originally Posted by : Kurtis Stryker The whole deal with Reptile being born with Harlequin-type ichthyosis is just Hollywood revisionist bull crap. The Saurian race do not have that condition; they're raptors!
Yes, we all know that, but the whole point of the video is to proposition how Mortal Kombat would play out in a more realistic setting. There's no harm in that. I was a bit standoffish at the idea of characters being changed up and given a realistic spin, but after thinking about it for a bit and watching the video a few times, I have grown to become quite curious and supportive of the idea. Sure, I wouldn't want it to be a permenant switch for Mortal Kombat, but merely testing the idea is fine with me.
I think MK needs to be darker and grittier, and with the fake looking effects and gags they have used in the past few enstallments, that cannot happen. They need something more realistic and creepy. Buckets of bright colorful blood is no longer shocking nor impactful, they need to dig deep and make you believe what you are seeing could actually happen.
That video is pretty awesome. As much as I would love to see a far more faithful recreation of the games on film, as history has proven they just normally don't work. I reckon having two very different iterations of the same thing in two separate forms of media might actually be the way to solve the common games to film issue. Hell it's kind of an equivalent to how comic book's have multiple universes, and we already know MK's involvement in such ideas with MKvsDC. As long as the games aren't changed, the film version would offer new perspective and ideas not possible in the game.
I dont at all believe this was a TEST SHOOT for a movie that was rejected. Ed Boon's twitter comment today points that it is new and most likely from WB. I think it is to do with marketing for the game.
Nah, it's a pitch alright:
The director pulled a few strings and favors to get the cast together. Some of the footage like the baby Reptile existed elsewhere, so it was all lumped together.
That said, there must be a lot of interested parties in the project that the director is pursuing it in such a manner.
Originally Posted by : Blackcyborg Yes, we all know that, but the whole point of the video is to proposition how Mortal Kombat would play out in a more realistic setting. There's no harm in that. I was a bit standoffish at the idea of characters being changed up and given a realistic spin, but after thinking about it for a bit and watching the video a few times, I have grown to become quite curious and supportive of the idea. Sure, I wouldn't want it to be a permenant switch for Mortal Kombat, but merely testing the idea is fine with me.
I agree. This looks extremely good, considering what they had to work with. I'm a little curious about Lui Kang's apparent absence, tho. He's always been an integral part of the series, but taking the other liberties that are obvious, he may not fit.
My biggest concern is how will this effect the next MK game? It seems only logical that this would be a stepping stone to "rebooting" the game, so it will be interesting to see how the next game turns out.
Oh, and LMFAO @ the director. From "Fame" to "MK"? That's a LEAP.
I don't know what it is with you guys and "realism," but Mortal Kombat has NEVER been about realism. Anyone who says otherwise is just kidding themselves. A movie like this is certainly not going to make Mortal Kombat any more real; if anything, it's going to dumb down the entire franchise, even more so than Annihilation did.
This movie is going to be another crappy video game adaptation in a long line of crappy video game adaptations.
Absolutely. There is definitely a market for another film and it would be great if it was R. I just hope WB looks at the feedback. It is has a lot of potential it just needs to be tweaked a bit more towards fantasy.
It's just a very modernized MK, which I think is pretty cool. I hope I see Tanya, Kitana, Jade, and Mileena there. I can imagine Tanya and Mileena dressing up as ghetto prostitutes while Jade and Kitana are sexy but elegant woman who are pretty much in the high class. Also, I have a feeling Stryker will have a role in this movie (if it is a film that is) since this does take place in a police environment.
Whereas Mileena's face was badly scarred and burned in a fire that killed her entire family. So Shao Khan, an evil underground hypnotist mafioso, hypnotized Mileena to believe that Kitana was the one who started the fire.
Originally Posted by : Kurtis Stryker I like that the movie is attempting to bring the series back to its original violent, gritty state. I also believe the fight scenes will be great. But, story and character wise? COME ON.
First time poster. Been a fan of MK since MK1 hit arcades and to be honest, I just feel that post-MK3 the storyline and "universe" of MK has become far too bloated and disconnected. All the storylines from MKDA, MKD and MKA just feel to fantasy/scifi - almost like a DnD element had been added in. I know the core story from the first 3 games lines out other universes and other races, but I don't think there is any way to make that translate into film without coming across as just a fantasy/action flick. At least with with this movie pitch, he aimed to capture the darkness that I think surrounded the first 3 games.
I know people will have issues with the story rewrite and character reimaginings, but honestly being able to rework everything opens up the possibilty to really take the characters and universe into dark and intense territory. Bringing characters like Baraka into the human realm is far more frightening than he being a creature from another realm.
I think you can have either one of two ways. Either something that is completely true to the MK universe story wise, and come off as a fantasy action flick - or dare to do something different but actually capture the vibe and darkness of the early MK games. And as a fan since the beginning, I'd much rather see them do something different. I don't think there is just anyway to basically take where MKA ended up and turn it into a serious and dark movie.
I wouldn't mind if they took this and tweaked it so it was more inlined with the MK series.
Its just a pitch so its still early days.
Though the constant youtube comments "baraka Obama" amuses me to no end.
The interview with the director on Collider put to rest some of my concerns. Mainly that the mysticism would be removed entirely. Glad to see that it will remain. Hopefully with the video already at about 2 million views WB will make this happen...I don't know the state of the lawsuit.
Originally Posted by : wishtheend Bringing characters like Baraka into the human realm is far more frightening than he being a creature from another realm.
Really? So a failed doctor who snaps and pierces himself is a lot more frightening than an emotionless nomad from a completely different plane of existence whose people have ripped others apart for generations?
He's not just some creature from another realm; he's a killing machine who was raised like a killing machine in the wastelands of a world that's been falling apart. He didn't go to med school and snap just because he couldn't perform surgery properly.
It's not the story that made those first two movies fail; it was the execution. Writing an incredibly dark and gritty MK movie, and conveying that same story to screen with all of the darkness that lurked over the first two games can be done. It's just that threshold didn't know how to do that (because everyone employed at threshold is retarded).
I've always hated the first movie, and the second. But in order to reboot MK, you don't need to completely change its story and characters. And you shouldn't.
If they change everything around, it ceases to be MK, and just becomes a derivative work with borrowed names.
Jeez, I go to Japan for 2 little weeks and what happens? A whole lot of stuff that's what! Personally I like this video. It requires a bit of reimagining to put the world of MK into ours. I would have gone with a different backstory for Baraka, but the rest was really impressive. I'm not so closed-minded as to write this off immediately, but if it ever gets funding and licensing you can bet I'll be seeing it. I'll pass judgment then.