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Let Mortal Kombat begin! No way of avoiding that one. Warner Bros. Television announced today that a new web series based on the video game franchise is in production, with Jeri Ryan as Sonya Blade, Michael Jai White as Jackson Briggs and Darren Shahlavi as Kano already on board.
The new digital media web series follows — whether directly or not is unclear — the fan-shot Mortal Kombat: Rebirth short by director Kevin Tancharoen. The short was a gritty, dark and imaginative take on the classic characters and world, and it garnered a ton of hits on YouTube. All the above mentioned actors reprise their roles from the unofficial video, and shooting has already begun in Vancouver. Tancharoen also returns to direct, produce and co-write the series alongside Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing. Check out the original short and the press release below.
Jeri Ryan, Michael Jai White and Darren Shahlavi to Star in “Mortal Kombat” Live-Action Digital New Media Series
Round One…FIGHT! Series to Debut this Spring
BURBANK, CALIF., February 14, 2011 – Warner Premiere today announced initial casting for their upcoming live-action digital new media series “Mortal Kombat” which is based on the iconic gaming franchise. Jeri Ryan, (“Star Trek: Voyager”) will reprise her role as the headstrong “Lieutenant Sonya Blade” from the unofficial fan short. She is joined by Michael Jai White (“The Dark Knight”) as “Major Jackson ‘Jax’ Briggs” and Darren Shahlavi (“300″) as the sly and cunning “Kano.”
Kevin Tancharoen who directed and produced the popular, unofficial “Mortal Kombat: Rebirth” fan short that garnered over 10 million views worldwide, is bringing the same immersive directing style to this live-action digital new media series. Fans will be able to delve deep into the history of the warriors they know and love including “Sub-Zero” and “Scorpion.” Shooting for “Mortal Kombat” is currently underway in Vancouver.
“It’s extremely gratifying to have such talented actors playing these iconic roles,” said Kevin Tancharoen, Director, Producer and Co-Writer of “Mortal Kombat.” “They will bring the essence of ‘Mortal Kombat’ to life and gamers will be deeply immersed into the game’s universe.”
“Mortal Kombat” is one of the most celebrated videogame franchises of all time. Since its debut in 1992, it has spawned four arcade games, multiple console-based videogame titles, two movies (“Mortal Kombat” and “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation”), two television series and an animated prequel. Additionally, a new “Mortal Kombat” video game developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Ent. will be available April 19, 2011 on the PlayStation(R)3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360(R) video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.
Written by Kevin Tancharoen, Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing, and available online this spring from Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, the “Mortal Kombat” digital new media series is an anthology of multiple live action shorts. Each episode will provide never-before-revealed insights into characters featured in the upcoming videogame as well as the game’s universe.
“Mortal Kombat,” the newest chapter of the award-winning videogame franchise, will be on store shelves starting April 19th, 2011. Marking a triumphant return to the series’ mature presentation and a reinvention of its classic 2D fighting mechanic, “Mortal Kombat” will introduce a number of new game-play features including tag team, a deeper story mode and nostalgic online and offline arcade battles. Players will be able to choose from an extensive lineup of iconic warriors and challenge their friends in head-to-head competition as well as several new game modes.
For more information about the game, “Mortal Kombat”, log onto www.themortalkombat.com and visit www.facebook.com/mortalkombat.