If you’re a gamer, chances are you’ve played “Mortal Kombat” at least once in your life.
This popular yet incredibly violent video game franchise will be turned into a live-action movie and Hollywood might have found the right person to handle it. According to The Tracking Board, director James Wan is reportedly in talks to produce the film for Warner Bros.’ New Line Productions.
“Mortal Kombat” was originally developed by Midway Games’ Chicago studio in 1992. The development team was acquired by Warner Bros. and turned into NetherRealm Studio after Midway’s bankruptcy. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment currently owns the rights to the series, which was rebooted in 2011.
The video game franchise, which sold over 35 million units since it launched, was originally based on an idea that Ed Boon and John Tobias had for a video game starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. As the idea fell through, a fantasy-themed fighting game titled “Mortal Kombat” was created instead. Despite the harsh ratings for graphic violence in the series, it has spawned many sequels and has been spun off into several action-adventure games, films (animated and live-action with its own sequel), and TV series (animated and live-action). It also appeared in a comic book series, a card game, and a live-action tour.
Along with Capcom’s “Street Fighter”, Mortal Kombat is one of the most successful fighting franchises in the history of video games.
Back then, despite the financial success, the films suffered from a poor reception by critics and fans alike. The franchise eventually broke down in 1997. A few years later, director Kevin Tancharoen released an 8-minute short film titled “Mortal Kombat: Rebirth” as a proof of concept for his pitch of a reboot movie franchise to Warner Brothers.
In September 2011, New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. confirmed that Tancharoen has signed on to direct the reboot from a screenplay written by Oren Uziel. However, Tancharoen left the project in 2013 to pursue “other creative opportunities”.
Wan has proved himself to be the most sought-after director in Hollywood after helming “Furious 7“, which became a box office success with over $1.4 billion in global box office receipts. He has since been eyed to direct a slew of big-budgeted films as multiple studio executives were all vying for his attention to board on their projects.
Given the success of his horror classics such as 2010’s “Insidious” and 2013’s “The Conjuring”, his involvement in the project is good for New Line as the reboot has been stalled in production for a while now. Wan is currently directing “The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist“ for New Line, which is due to shoot this fall. He is also tied to produced the remake of “The Entity” with his “Conjuring” creative team.
Source: The Tracking Board.