June 8th, 2010
1:54 PM CST -
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.


This image was previously posted on ZBrushCentral by Furio Tedeschi, a 3D Modeler that previously had worked at Blitz Games on a WB Games title Taz: Wanted in 2002.

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.

Whoever is behind this didn't purchase the domain MortalKombatRebirth.com to go along with the YouTube account. That domain is now owned by us and points to TRMK. This is not something Warner Bros. would do as they are known to purchase domains long before anything is even on them.

Could this be the first look at a future MK movie from Threshold Entertainment without the involvement of Warner Bros? We are unsure at this point.

A tweet from RZA of Wu-Tang says that the director of this project is Kevin Tancharoen, whose previous work includes "Dancelife" and other dance related TV shows.

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.

Reader Komments from the TRMK Forums:



June 8th, 2010 2:10 PM CST - DCR
All I really have to say is... what the hell?
June 8th, 2010 2:49 PM CST - Electrici
I have to admit that I enjoyed the video and am interested in exactly what its purpose is.
June 8th, 2010 3:16 PM CST - Umon Daisuke
Woo, whatever that was, it oozed of high production values. If it's related to MK9, WB is serious about re-launching the series.
June 8th, 2010 3:36 PM CST - Vali-Ent
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.
June 8th, 2010 3:41 PM CST - Vali-Ent
Honestly, I think this film is an attempted bastardization of the series, though. It's nice eye-candy...but it's just missing something crucial.
June 8th, 2010 3:50 PM CST - Umon Daisuke
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.
June 8th, 2010 3:56 PM CST - smaddy
Ed Boon just posted a wry comment on his Twitter page. Saying ' So um..... Whats new?' http://twitter.com/NOOBDE
June 8th, 2010 4:02 PM CST - MERCY666
This trailer is awsome. Ibelieve that tis video is a trailer of the upcomming MK movie and not related to MK9, This video is too legit.
June 8th, 2010 4:21 PM CST - Kurtis Stryker
Chud claims its for the movie: http://chud.com/articles/articles/23984/1/IS-THIS-VIDEO-FOR-THE-NEW-MORTAL-KOMBAT-MOVIE/Page1.html Aside from Michael Jai White being perfectly cast as Jax, this looks a bit lame. Do we really need more on the feud between Scorpion/Sub-Zero, or Shang Tsung reigning again?
June 8th, 2010 4:23 PM CST - Jinko
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 : Kurtis Stryker
Chud claims its for the movie: http://chud.com/articles/articles/23984/1/IS-THIS-VIDEO-FOR-THE-NEW-MORTAL-KOMBAT-MOVIE/Page1.html Aside from Michael Jai White being perfectly cast as Jax, this looks a bit lame. Do we really need more on the feud between Scorpion/Sub-Zero, or Shang Tsung reigning again?
If it's going to be a reboot, what else are we going to expect?
June 8th, 2010 6:17 PM CST - Patrick McCarron
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.
June 8th, 2010 7:26 PM CST - reptilesmile
reptile origin original footage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZFcH0srTRU
June 8th, 2010 7:59 PM CST - 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!
June 8th, 2010 8:07 PM CST - Blackcyborg
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.
June 8th, 2010 8:31 PM CST - Vali-Ent
@Umon Daisuke, I said it ruled out threshold because it wasn't mink who made it.
June 8th, 2010 11:38 PM CST - TioShard
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.
June 9th, 2010 1:17 AM CST - Mads
So Mortal Kombat in a more realistic setting eh? Mortal Kombat Max. I likey.
June 9th, 2010 1:35 AM CST - JustinRex
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.
June 9th, 2010 2:19 AM CST - Umon Daisuke
Nah, it's a pitch alright: http://ca.kotaku.com/5558850/that-mortal-kombat-trailer-jeri-ryan-explains 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.
June 9th, 2010 8:37 AM CST - Eks
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.
June 9th, 2010 8:46 AM CST - docholiday
I am wondering if maybe the hook for MK9 is a real world reboot. I won't lie it is awesome but I will miss the supernatural elements.
June 9th, 2010 8:51 AM CST - Kurtis Stryker
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.
June 9th, 2010 9:40 AM CST - Eks
The WHOLE point of "rebirth" is to abandon the old lore and start anew.
June 9th, 2010 10:01 AM CST - docholiday
If the movie is gritty like this I am cool with that....but I'd still prefer them not to give real world origins to Outworld characters.
June 9th, 2010 10:19 AM CST - Angel
The hype though proves the fans want more...
June 9th, 2010 10:56 AM CST - docholiday
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.
June 9th, 2010 11:36 AM CST - Nic-V
This has been like a huge unexpected publicity stunt for WB! Surely this will help increase the hype about the new game
June 9th, 2010 1:32 PM CST - Nasty_Freak
It probably must be the next MK movie or it can be the next MK game trailer.
June 9th, 2010 2:06 PM CST - Tim Static
June 9th, 2010 2:34 PM CST - 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.
June 9th, 2010 2:45 PM CST - Nasty_Freak
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.
June 9th, 2010 4:03 PM CST - Kurtis Stryker
Originally Posted by : Nasty_Freak
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.
Dude, what the hell?
June 9th, 2010 4:36 PM CST - DCR
If the "back stories" of Reptile and Baraka are anything to go by, Kitana would be a failed investment banker who sells homemade fans to troubled youths. I'm calling it.
June 9th, 2010 7:17 PM CST - Kurtis Stryker
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.
June 9th, 2010 11:28 PM CST - Eks
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.
http://www.collider.com/2010/06/09/kevin-tancharoen-interview-mortal-kombat-rebirth-feature-film/ This thing was done by Tancharoen in an effort to prod WB to pick him for a new movie. It's about as far from the final cut as you can get. As far as I can tell, WB didn't even have a new MK movie in development, so any and everything could change from this short, assuming a movie even gets made. Keep that in mind when your purity sensors start going haywire. lol
June 10th, 2010 2:49 AM CST - Vali-Ent
Originally Posted by : Eks
http://www.collider.com/2010/06/09/kevin-tancharoen-interview-mortal-kombat-rebirth-feature-film/ This thing was done by Tancharoen in an effort to prod WB to pick him for a new movie. It's about as far from the final cut as you can get. As far as I can tell, WB didn't even have a new MK movie in development, so any and everything could change from this short, assuming a movie even gets made. Keep that in mind when your purity sensors start going haywire. lol
If the lawsuit continues, there won't be a movie.
June 10th, 2010 2:50 AM CST - Angel
You know the more I get given on this, the less I like Theshold...
June 10th, 2010 8:13 AM CST - wishtheend
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.
June 10th, 2010 8:38 AM CST - Angel
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.
June 10th, 2010 8:53 AM CST - docholiday
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.
June 10th, 2010 3:36 PM CST - jeary
This was absolutely amazing and actually gave us a somewhat realistic picture of Mortal Kombat. I loved it!
June 10th, 2010 11:52 PM CST - Ghost
So what's this I hear about a brief Stryker appearance? Can anyone confirm?
June 11th, 2010 4:32 PM CST - Vali-Ent
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.
June 21st, 2010 10:56 AM CST - Glamador
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.
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