Warner confirms live-action Mortal Kombat digital series by 'Rebirth' director, coming this spring

Last summer's "unofficial" Mortal Kombat: Rebirth test footage has landed its director, Kevin Tancharoen, a job with Warner Bros. While Rebirth won't become a full-length feature film (you can't kill off Johnny Cage like that!), Warner apparently saw something in the imaginative re-imagination of its new aging fighting game franchise. As reported earlier this month, Tancharoen will helm a series of live-action Mortal Kombat digital shorts, which will be released in conjunction with the new game (launching April 19) "this spring through online digital retailers." Does that mean we have to pay for them?

Warner teased that the digital series, to commence (crunch time) filming in Vancouver early next month, will provide "never-before-revealed insights" into the characters from the new game and its "universe," including Liu Kang and, of course, the beloved Johnny Cage (you see, Tancharoen?). The company will reveal further details shortly, including casting (and, hopefully, the fact that these webisodes will be totally, 100 percent free -- right Warner?). It's been reported that Michael Jai White will reprise his Rebirth role as Jax.

[Pictured: Scorpion from MK: Rebirth test footage; full video after the break]

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WARNER PREMIERE ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF "MORTAL KOMBAT" LIVE-ACTION DIGITAL SERIES

Directed by Kevin Tancharoen ("Fame, "Mortal Kombat: Rebirth") Shooting To Take Place in Vancouver this February

One of the Most Successful Videogame Franchises Becomes an Action-Packed Digital Series Set to Debut This Spring through Online Digital Retailers Taking Fans Deep Into Background of Characters Such as Liu Kang and Johnny Cage


BURBANK, CALIF., January 24, 2011 – Warner Premiere today announced development of a live-action digital series based on the best-selling Mortal Kombat videogame franchise. Directed by Kevin Tancharoen, known for his popular unofficial fan short Mortal Kombat: Rebirth which garnered over 10 million views online, and in conjunction with the upcoming Mortal Kombat videogame, this action-packed, digital series will take gamers deep into the history of warriors they know and love such as Scorpion, Johnny Cage and Liu Kang. Shooting for the digital series will take place in Vancouver starting in early February.

Mortal Kombat is one of the most celebrated videogame franchises of all time. Since its debut in 1992, it has spawned four arcade games, 10 console-based videogame titles, two movies (Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation), two televisions series (Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and Mortal Kombat: Conquest) and an animated prequel Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins. Additionally, a new Mortal Kombat game will be coming out April 19, 2011 on the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

Available this spring through online digital retailers from Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, the Mortal Kombat digital series is an anthology of multiple live action shorts, each providing never-before-revealed insights into characters featured in the upcoming videogame as well as the game's universe. Additional details, including casting, will be announced in the coming weeks.


The latest iteration of the award-winning videogame, Mortal Kombat, marks a triumphant return to the series' mature presentation and a reinvention of its classic 2D fighting mechanic. Driven by an all new graphics engine, the fan favorite Fatality is back and presented in more gory detail than ever before. In addition, Mortal Kombat introduces a number of new game-play features including tag team and a deep story mode. Mortal Kombat is being developed by NetherRealm Studios, led by Mortal Kombat creator and creative director Ed Boon.


About Warner Premiere

Warner Premiere, part of Warner Bros. Entertainment, specializes in the development and production of both features and digital content for home entertainment platforms. Past projects include Another Cinderella Story, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and Batman: Under the Red Hood, as well as the digital series Watchmen Motion Comics. Warner Premiere is at the creative forefront in the made-for-home entertainment marketplace, producing properties that exemplify the commitment to story, production and brand equity for which Warner Bros. is known.


About Warner Bros. Digital Distribution

Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD) oversees the electronic distribution of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group's content through Video-On-Demand, Pay-Per-View, Electronic Sell-Through and Subscription Video-On-Demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels. WBDD also distributes content through third party digital retailers and licensees. A worldwide industry leader since its inception, WBDD also manages the Studio's E-commerce sites that include WBShop.com and WarnerArchive.com. Twitter: @WBDigitalDist


About NetherRealm Studios

NetherRealm Studios, wholly owned by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, is a leader in the development of interactive entertainment as the creator of the billion dollar Mortal Kombat franchise. Mortal Kombat has spawned two theatrical films, multiple television series, and has sold over 28 million games to date. Located in Chicago, Illinois the award-winning NetherRealm team has been working and creating games together since 1992. Additional information about NetherRealm Studios can be found at www.netherrealm.com


About Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, is a premier worldwide publisher, developer, licensor and distributor of entertainment content for the interactive space across all current and future platforms, including console, handheld and PC-based gaming for both internal and third party game titles.


Developed by NetherRealm Studios. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. "PlayStation" is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

Mortal Kombat, the dragon logo, and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

WB GAMES LOGO, WB SHIELD: ™ & © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
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This article was originally published on Joystiq.