Back in January, Michael Jai White seemed confident that a full Mortal Kombat feature would follow the series of webisodes in which he played Jax. Turns out he spoke the truth, and director Kevin Tancharoen has just revealed that, following the web series, Warners and New Line are keen to get Mortal Kombat back on the big screen as soon as possible.
The Mortal Kombat: Legacy shorts followed Tanchareon's Rebirth calling card, which caused a flurry of fan excitement last year. Taking a different tack from the original Paul WS Anderson film adaptation - which opted for a straightforward but actually pretty successful fantasy-Enter the Dragon approach - Rebirth and its successors opted for a Nolan-influenced, darker, more grounded reworking of the videogame's universe, which saw Jax and Sonya Blade (Jeri Ryan) as cops, and Mortal Kombat as a sort of supernatural underground fight club, populated with Bat-villain-alike freaks.
"The web series did so well," says Tancharoen, "that we started seriously talking with New Line about doing a film. They had really liked the style and the storytelling, and the numbers were proven, so they said we should go for it!"
Oren Uziel, connected to mooted MK restarts for years, will write the screenplay, which Tancharoen promises will remain "familiar to people who have been following the webisodes, but will be its own movie. I wanted to make sure that you won't have to have seen all ten episodes previously - or have played the videogame - to understand the movie. I've always been a fan of properties like Batman where you can expand the universe in different directions. Mortal Kombat is big enough that you can allow for multiple different kinds of storytelling."
It's not unreasonable to expect White, Ryan, Darren Shahlavi, and Anthony Dale to return to their web roles, but none of those details are yet fully ironed out. Tancharoen is also keeping quiet about the story, although we're going to stick our neck out and say that on some level it'll be a violent tale of monstrous hardasses fighting for and against supernatural gangsta Shao Khan. Shooting is pencilled in for early next year, with an eye on a 2013 release.