I’m of two minds about the new high-end breed of “fan films,” i.e. unlicensed adaptations of properties made by professional-level filmmakers. A lot of them are good, a lot of them are bad, and I won’t lie and say I wouldn’t relish to opportunity to take a shot at one myself had I the resources… but I can understand the criticism that people at that level might be better served coming up with their own material; particularly since the not-so-secret “dream” behind a lot of such projects – getting hired to make the “real” thing – hasn’t happened in any meaningful way yet.
Well, now it has. Warner Bros. liked Kevin Tancharoen’s “Mortal Kombat: Rebirth” short (or, at least, the online reaction to it) so much that they brought him on to do the “Legacy” webseries… and now he’s getting to helm the real thing – a feature-film “reboot” of the series.
I mean, good for him certainly, but I really, truly hated “Rebirth” – just the ultimate apotheosis of the “gritty realism” style of adaptation that I’m completely, utterly sick to fucking death of. Yes, fine, it was well-directed and it was nifty that he got “name” B-list actors to show up, but right around the point where Reptile – in the games a monster from another dimension – shows up as deformed serial-killer I checked the hell out. Fuck that shit. “Legacy” was marginally better, but never rose above “here are spot-on imitations of my favorite beats from recent genre-films but with Mortal Kombat guys in it.”
I’m hoping, at least, that the film is NOT a continuation of either previous effort and actually tries to capture the games a little better – part of the reason I loved the recent game reboot was that it so enthusiastically embraced the Kung Fu meets metal album-cover in a halloween store feel of the original games, with absolutely zero effort made to cover up the high-camp insanity of the premise and characters. A movie of that, basically an ultra-gory “Big Trouble in Little China?” THAT I want to watch.
In any case, the bigger story here is that if/when this actually works out, “make fan-film, get hired” is going to REALLY take hold in the up-and-comer film world – get ready to see a lot of recent filmschool grads flooding YouTube with high-gloss takes on their favorite games and old cartoons hoping to catch a rights-holder’s eye.
On a completely-unrelated note, anyone have a ballpark figure on what a photo-real CGI Bowser would cost?