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'Mortal Kombat' fights its way back to the silver screen

Warner Bros.

It seems the Mortal Kombat game franchise is getting another Mortal Kombat movie.

In the ugly, troubled history of video games being turned into movies, the "Mortal Kombat" film of 1995 is not the worst adaptation. Nay, I believe we can agree that honor goes to the great "Super Mario Bros." film disaster of 1993. Still, it's not the best adaptation either. Not at all.

And yet, it seems the "Mortal Kombat" fighting franchise is ready to risk the journey from game to film one more time. That's right, a new "Mortal Kombat" movie is in the works with an expected 2013 release date.


According to the L.A. Times, Warner Bros.' New Line Cinema label is partnering its Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment video game unit for this adaptation. The movie will be adapted by Kevin Tancharoen, who directed the most recent "Fame" film as well as "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie."

It will be the third live-action feature film based on the games — games that brought us those infamous "fatality" finishing moves (kiss that spine goodbye). After all, who could forget that cinematic gem from 1997 — "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation"?

For all those who shudder at news of another movie based on a video game franchise, the good news is Tancharoen is a big fan of the "Mortal Kombat" games. But more importantly, he landed this directing gig because of a pretty sweet eight-minute trailer/short he directed called "Mortal Kombat: Rebirth."

"Rebirth," which leaked to YouTube last year, became a viral sensation and also landed Tancharoen a job helming the "Mortal Kombat: Legacy" Web series ... which ultimately led to the greenlighting of the forthcoming movie. You can check out "Mortal Combat: Rebirth" here (warning, it's not for the kiddies or those who don't like the sight of gore):

As you can see from his above work, Tancharoen has a tendency to take a more realistic and less cartoony approach in his game adaptations. In an interview with the L.A. Times he confirmed that he'll be taking this approach with the forthcoming film.

"It will be more realistic and gritty than the last two movies, but also a very big story," he said. "The cartoonish version has been done ... What took most people by surprise with my shorts, I think, is that you never would think of putting 'Mortal Kombat' in a realistic setting. But I believe it’s a fighting game and it’s meant for that purpose."

And now for a flashback. Let this trailer for the original "Mortal Kombat" film whisk you back to the year 1995:

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Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+.  And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.