The director of the amazing Mortal Kombat short that turned up this week has finally spoken out about how and why he made it, and what he’d like to do if he was ever handed the keys to the franchise.
You might have heard about a little video that’s been kicking around the internet over the last couple of days. It’s about bad guys, and worse guys, with funny names like Reptile and Baraka, Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage, and how they’re all going to get together somewhere and beat each other to death for fun and money. It’s a 21st century twist on Mortal Kombat and it is utterly awesome.
The man behind it is Kevin Tancharoen, whose previous work, I kid you not, includes in the 2009 remake of Fame and The Pussycat Dolls television series The Search for the Next Doll. I So how did a guy like that end up turning Reptile into a horrifically-diseased mass murderer?
“Forever, I’ve been nothing but a lover of comic books and video games. I’ve been immersed in the fanboy culture. That’s me as a person,” he explained in an interview with Collider.com. “As a kid, all I wanted to do was be a Ninja Turtle who morphed to a Power Ranger… I think, of course, for the people that know me, this is not really a shock. Because they know that this is my love. And I do understand that it’s crazy to see such a shift in genre. But this is what I want to do, and this is what I’ve always wanted to do, and am very passionate about.”
Mortal Kombat: Rebirth, as it’s “officially” known, was shot over two days and cost just $7500, along with a lot of donated time and equipment and a script from Tancharoen’s friend Oren Uziel, who just happens to be writing the screenplay for the Mortal Kombat reboot planned for 2013. That limited budget had a lot to do with the film’s grounding in the real world, although Tancharoen noted that the mystical element of the story would definitely be present in a full-blown project. “I couldn’t go balls-to-the-wall on visual effects,” he said. “I had to utilize what I could and make the best of it. I want the mysticism to be treated carefully and with integrity.”
And what about putting Scorpion front and center? “Listen, Scorpion is the bad guy and will stay a bad guy. His motives are personal,” he continued. “If Jax and Sonya can coattail off that revenge, awesome. But Scorpion does not care.”
Regardless of what you may think of his take on the property, it’s clear through the interview that Tancharoen is a huge and dedicated Mortal Kombat fan. I don’t know how likely it is that Warner will put him behind the wheel but given what he did with this short film, I can think of far worse ideas.