If you didn’t see the awesome short Mortal Kombat: Rebirth then I suggest you go and check that out here first. It was directed by Kevin Tacharoen, and was his attempt to show the movie studios just what he could do with the MK franchise. And it was amazing. It was a realistic look at the world of Mortal Kombat with some stars thrown in for good measure. Michael Jai White played Jackson Briggs (Jax) and Jeri Ryan played Sonya Blade. Well, it definitely got noticed, with over 10 million views in one month, and it left most fans of the franchise wondering where the series was going to go next.
Then Mortal Kombat: Legacy was announced. A 10 part web series from the makers of Rebirth featuring the same cast plus lots more. So naturally fans rejoiced. So far there have been 4 episodes released, so I’ll post them here for your viewing pleasure, and as each one comes out we’ll keep you up to date.
Most are around 10 minutes long, and feature a look at the beginning of most of our favorite characters, with an expanded look at the huge universe of Mortal Kombat.
Mortal Kombat: Legacy 01 – Jax, Sonya and Kano (Part 1)
Mortal Kombat: Legacy 02 – Jax, Sonya and Kano (Part 2)
Mortal Kombat: Legacy 03 – Johnny Cage
Mortal Kombat: Legacy 04 – Kitana & Mileena
How awesome were those? Now clearly not everything has transferred over from Rebirth, in the short Baraka was a human who had implanted blades into his own forearms, while in Legacy they are going with the actual mythology of the Tarkatan race, which I think is a pretty good blend of mysticism and reality.
Here are some shots of Scorpion (played by Ian Anthony Dale) and Sub-Zero from the upcoming episodes:
And a little from Jeri Ryan on playing Sonya Blade over at Screen Junkies:
Q: We spoke last summer for “Body of Proof” and you were surprised I had even seen the Mortal Kombat short. At what point did you realize it was becoming something real?
Jeri Ryan: I was shooting I think in Montreal at the time and I was on Twitter walking to the set one morning. Then I came back to my dressing room and got on Twitter and it had just exploded. That’s when I realized that it had been released and completely gone viral and really taken on a life of its own.
Q: Have you actually learned how to fight?
JR: Well, about that part… That would be the downside of doing a web series as opposed to a feature film or a network television show because there’s no lead time to get ready for anything. I think the amount of notice that I had of finding out that the project was even going to happen and then getting an offer and making a deal and getting on a plane to Vancouver and shooting the next day, was a grand total of about five days. So there was no time for training. There was no time for research. There was no time for anything. The fight scene, which will be in the next episode, was the second scene I shot on my first day on set. So thank God Larnell [Stovall], our stunt coordinator was amazing and very patient and worked with my for five minute bursts between shots of the previous scene. Michael Jai White was awesome and a big help to me. They were all right there on set with me and everybody had my back. Yeah, it was sort of trial by fire. Now I’m ready for it. We do season two, I’m ready.
Q: Will we get to see Sonya’s fatalities?
JR: See, especially these first two episodes which center around Sonya, Jacks and Kano, this is much more grounded in reality. It’s very dark and gritty and very real world. There’s no kisses and things like that in these episodes. Maybe if we go forward with the series and get to the actual tournament, which is in another sort of world, then we can get into those elements. For these, this is very much reality. This is real world based.
Q: Will there be a whole episode on Sonya’s backstory?
JR: Not this season. This season, these first two episodes are Sonya, Jacks and Kano. Then each episode revolves two or three more characters in the Mortal Kombat universe.
Q: 7 or 9 became an icon who may have had action figures of her own, but people have been playing Sonya for years before you did this. What thoughts does that give you about approaching a character?
JR: It’s always interesting stepping into something that is already iconic like that. [Director] Kevin [Tancharoen]’s version of Mortal Kombat, this world that he’s created is so different from what you’ve seen before. There is no campy element to this. There is no cartoony element to this. This is very much a gritty, dark, real world take on this. To that extent, all the characters we’re creating are new in that way.
Q: Is this the start of Jeri Ryan: Action Hero?
JR: Who knows, baby, who knows? It’s fun. But oh dear God, did I soak in the Epson salt baths after we shot it.
I really love how the story is teasing the mythology, such as the Smoke/Cyber helmets in the first episode, the arm damage Jax sustains, and Kano‘s eye which looks a lot better than I thought it would. It’s really setting up a lot of future developments that fans of the video game are already aware of.
Legacy is a far cry from the Hollywood movies from the 90’s, which is a huge selling point, and it’s exciting to see a franchise with such a huge storyline get the treatment it deserves.
I’m hoping after the first 10 we’ll either get a continuation of the web series, or achieve the goal originally set out for with Rebirth; a feature-length film.
What do you think of Mortal Kombat: Legacy? Are you happy leaving it as a web series or do you want to see it taken to the big screen?
Sound off in the comments section below!
2 thoughts on “Mortal Kombat: Legacy – Episodes 1-4”
I really dug the first 3 episodes, especially the Johnny Cage one (who knew?!) but I find the stylistic choice of animating some thing and not others for episodes 4 and 5 uninspired.
I know they did this to save money but it really separated me from the experience. I found these episodes lacking in the character building and tension that was so prevalent in the first 3 episodes. Also, episode five was only about 4-5 minutes long. Why couldn’t they make 4 and 5 one episode? It would have made more sense and the story wouldn’t all of a sudden seem so disjointed.
Mind you Kevin Tachareon is trying to prove to Universal this is a worth while venture to explore and invest him. He’s gotta show all of his style and approach while saving money.
Do I understand why these episodes were ‘meh’? Yes. Will it make me stop watching? No. Do I still think Kitana and Milena are boring? Yes.
I don’t know if Melina and Katana were boring, but I really don’t think they deserved two episodes for the story they played in this series. I understand that they introduced a few other characters as well, but having 2 of your five episodes almost entirely animated really takes away from the dark, reality that they are shooting for. I’ll take these two in stride and hope that the next few are back to what we were all hoping for.