Mortal Kombat: Rebirth and Reboot

Well, it’s certainly been a big week for Mortal Kombat news. As would be my luck, I was out of pocket both times something big broke.

On Tuesday, while I was on vacation in Colorado, a video emerged on YouTube that frankly surprised the hell out of everyone. It was a teaser video that seemed to be a teaser for a possible live-action MK movie.

When I finally got home and watched it, I was surprised. Any urge to call it faked was tempered by the fact that the video starred Michael Jai White and Jeri Ryan as Jax and Sonya, respectively. It’s since come out that the video was done by director Kevin Tancharoen as a pitch to Warner Bros. to let him do the MK reboot film. The style was very different, with it being set in a far more “gritty” urban setting, and known “alien” characters like Reptile and Baraka being reimagined as deformed or mutilated and insane humans. It was also far more brutal looking than the first MK film.

What did I think? I actually rather liked it. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing Tancharoen’s vision brought to the big screen. It’s definitely not as if there aren’t multiple MK continuities out there (“canon” games, movies/TV, MK: Shaolin Monks, MK vs DC Universe), and this is definitely one of the most unique takes on it. Based on what little I’ve seen, I think Tancharoen could pull it off.

Then, yesterday, while I was at the gym, Warner Bros. released the first teaser trailer for the upcoming game reboot, which is appropriately titled Mortal Kombat.

Unlike the Rebirth trailer, which was a radical reinvention of MK, the reboot game appears to be a “back to basics” approach, featuring characters clad in costumes close to their original appearances, 2D gameplay, reinvented classic arenas, and very brutal fatalities. From what I saw, the game looks like it’ll harken back to the old days of Mortal Kombat II, especially with the Outworld setting. A great number of fans are looking forward to it, and I have to admit I’m one of them. While I really enjoyed Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe and wish I had taken the time to get a proper fighting controller so I could really play it properly, I’m glad Netherrealm Studios (the MK development team that went to WB Games from Midway) is doing a dark true Mortal Kombat game. I’m also kind of glad they’re doing a reboot, as I’m not sure how they’d resolve the Gordian knot the plot became at the end of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon

The only question for me, now, is what happens to the Rebirth trailer. Both Rebirth and the game are reboots, but are so completely different from one another as to make them incompatible. On one hand, Ed Boon did admit on his Twitter page that he thought it was awesome. On the other hand, he did say it probably crossed a line. I’m kind of hoping the movie gets a go-ahead, but I’m not putting any money on it.

Ah, well. Either way, Mortal Kombat is definitely getting a rebirth. Here’s hoping it turns out to be well worth the wait. :-)

One thought on “Mortal Kombat: Rebirth and Reboot”

  1. Both videos were great. Maybe it’s a sign I’m growing up (as if!), but I think I’m actually more excited about the possibility of a new movie than the new game. The games feel like they are about the MK team constantly trying to top what they did back during the days of MKII. The Rebirth movie opens up a lot of possibilities. Exciting times, we will see what happens!

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