Mortal Kombat will be heading back to theaters in a big way thanks to a fan-made short film in 2010 called Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. The new movie based on the popular tournament-based fighting franchise is scheduled for a 2013 release and will be directed by Kevin Tancharoen, creator of the viral short that's garnered over two million hits on YouTube.
Based on the success of Tancharoen's fan film which was made without the support or blessings of Warner Bros., the studio hired him on to create a web-based mini-series to coincide with the launch of the latest game in the franchise, Mortal Kombat: Legacy. The web series was a big hit and the game has sold close to three million copies, prompting executives to give the green light for a feature movie.
"The new game and the online shorts prompted us to consider a reboot of a brand we hadn't been actively thinking about," Toby Emmerich, president of New Line said.
The new film is expected to have a budget well under $100 million and will paint a more realistic picture of the Mortal Kombat characters, much like the gritty short and web series.
The original Mortal Kombat movie was released in 1995 with a sequel coming two years later, both produced by New Line Cinema. Further movies have been stalled due to courtroom litigation between Warner Bros. and Lawrence Kasanoff, who produced the two original movies. The LA times reports that one case has already been settled but other cases are still pending. Citing anonymous sources, it is believed that the two sides are close enough to resolution that the project can move forward without incident.