Content tagged Warner Bros
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New Warner Bros. Digital Division Announces Mortal Kombat Webseries

Warner Brothers has announced a new digital production division today called Blue Ribbon Content.

According to The Hollywood Reporter; WB Animation veteran Sam Register will head the division, set to launch with a full slate of live-action content based on existing and original WB properties. Among the list is the already announced webseries Justice League: Gods And Montsers, a live-action version of Milestone Comics favourite Static Shock, and a new Mortal Kombat webseries to tie-in with the 2015 release of Mortal Kombat X!

Variety reports the new Mortal Kombat webseries is currently untitled -- making its relationship with established series Mortal Kombat: Legacy unclear. Like Mortal Kombat X - the 2015 shorts will split their focus between klassic and new characters.

The next generation in the Mortal Kombat franchise to be released in association with the upcoming “Mortal Kombat X” videogame, slated to bow April 14, 2015. Blue Ribbon Content and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are teaming on the series, which will showcase some of the franchise’s popular characters and introduce a new generation of fighters.

Speculation: Could a 2015 Movie Tie-In Provide MKX's Guest Fighter?

Nightmare on DLCThere are a select few certainties in this life. Rating highest among them are death, taxes and fighting game guest characters.

The success of Freddy Krueger [pictured top] and Scorpion have all but ensured NetherRealm Studios will always entertain the idea of a guest fighter in their games. Why wouldn't they? According to Creative Director Ed Boon -- both characters went on to be the highest selling downloadable content (DLC) for their respective games [Mortal Kombat & Injustice: Gods Among Us].

During his Gamespot Stage Demo appearance at this year's E3 -- Boon also made it known there would indeed be considerations for a new guest character in Mortal Kombat X. He ruled out a return for 2011 Sony exclusive Kratos (God of War) via Twitter. So. Who will it be?...

Kommunity: Full Mortal Kombat HD Q&A with Bleed

To users on Mortal Kombat Online he's known as Bleed: A long time contributor with a talent for developing characters in 3D models & 2D sprites [gallery].

To date; Gabriel "Bleed" Melendez has been noted as one of the driving forces behind a much discussed fan-made Mortal Kombat (1992) HD remake. His talents as a character artist have been exemplary, producing a professional level of content that has had fans salivating, and license owners justifiably concerned.

In the wake of Warner Brothers' intervention in "Mortal Kombat HD: Kommunity Edition" -- Melendez has become the voice of fate. A conduit through which a major corporation has made its presence known. When news of the shutdown spread, we talked to Bleed about what went down, and his general feelings about the project. You've read excerpts in the Saga of Mortal Kombat HD feature. Here is the unedited Q&A;:

Feature: The Saga of Mortal Kombat HD

After 20 years as a successful franchise, its the sequel to the eponymous Mortal Kombat that many still regard with fondest memories. For fans who live and bleed Mortal Kombat, however, the tournament-centric original can never be completely forgotten. Such is the dedication of a focused group of industrious fans, who've applied themselves to independently designing and developing a playable revamp of the original dubbed: Mortal Kombat HD.

Determined by consensus; the objective of Mortal Kombat HD was to create a slavishly complete, high definition remake of the 1992 arcade classic. Built from the ground up, using popular 2D freeware engine MUGEN as a playable base and 3D models -- the project would be made of all original resources, designed to imitate the original as exactly as possible. Therein would lie the problem, however, leading to an effective shutdown of any intention to release a working product, rendered by Warner Brothers late last week.

While the enthusiasm of fans may lead them to desire otherwise, Warner Brothers' position represents an open and shut case. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it's also a self-evident example of copyright and trademark infringement. Exceptions may exist at the prerogative of intellectual property owners who choose to overlook infringements, but they are always within their rights to shut down unlicensed fan projects.

On the surface, this would appear to be an effective end to the MKHD fan game as it was intended. To release any playable version to the public would be to court personal ruin. No fan will play it. Much less clear, however, is the exact motivation for Warner Brothers' intervention. While there is broad intellectual property protection and brand management to consider -- there is an extensive history behind MKHD.

Kountdown: 10 Things Mortal Kombat has to be Thankful For!

The inescapable echo of turkey gobbling can mean only one of two things: either someone's cracked out Mortal Kombat II for a little retro revenge, or there are thanks to be given in the MK homeland!

We understand not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving this time of year, but in the spirit of MK's origins and the general act of well wishing, we hope you'll oblige. Afterall, Mortal Kombat fans have had a lot to be thankful for in the last couple of years!

#10 Mortal Kosplay
We kinda missed the boat on Halloween, so why not start simple?
The influx of interest in Mortal Kombat has been a boon [see what I did there?] to fans of dressing up as their favourite kick-butt characters. This kostume kombat phenomenon goes well beyond the thrills of Halloween and officially endorsed costumes, extending to some of the world's biggest pop culture events and contests. There have been official models endorsed, too, as I'm sure you've managed to notice.

As an enlightened bastion of modern thinking, Mortal Kombat Online would never think to stoop to merely objectifying the female cosplayers among us, but that doesn't mean we aren't as thankful for the Kitana and Jades of the world, as much as Scorpion and Sub-Zero. Not to mention some of the less usual suspects! Check out the MKOmmunity's own keruuu (and friend) rocking a seriously bad ass Kung Lao and Nightwolf combo! [pictured right]

Yes, yes. Mileena, too. Perverts...

#9 The Fans
You can't have a wave of living tributes in costume without fans to squidge and wiggle inside them! The ragtag crew in the Mortal Kombat Online MKOmmunity represent only the tip of the iceberg, the coolest and most handsome fans who've flocked to Mortal Kombat in the last few years.

The continued success of the series is a testament to the diehard loyalty of its fans, old and new. Mortal Kombat has always had a sympathetic ear toward the fanbase, incorporating some of our ideas and rumors into the very games themselves! MK and MKO more than anyone knows what it means to be thankful for the fans (most of the time)!

#8 Music & Soundtrack
Fans of the Mortal Kombat games have long been spoiled by the tailor-made soundtracks of Dan "Toasty" Forden. The atmospheric musicman returned in 2011 to work his magic (and "toasty" cameo) in the latest game [read more], but he wasn't the only artist inspired by the warriors!

Mortal Kombat has a long and interesting history with music outside the games. From The Immortals' classic (infamous) concept album and single, to the borrowed music of the movies, music has made fans of many. Songs Inspired by the Warriors took MK back to the pop-alternative masses, uniting characters like Reptile with artists like Skrillex in an audio-concept fusion.

#7 Return to Live-Action
Granted, this step hasn't come without controversy, resulting in a wide variety of perspectives, not all of them good. Even so, however you slice it, the demand for a return to movies has been there since the 1997 sequel flopped, and we're thankful Mortal Kombat is getting another run.

Official Websites For Mortal Kombat and NetherRealm Studios Launched!

Two new official websites were unveiled for the upcoming entry in the Mortal Kombat franchise. The first is the website of the development studios, indeed called NetherRealm Studios as previously reported. The website currently features an anime-splash type logo featuring a silhouette of Scorpion. This will apparently be the MK team's official website. Currently, the site is bare except for the link to the official page for the upcoming game itself, titled at this point simply Mortal Kombat. This page seems to be under construction as well, featuring only the official Facebook profile of the game. Recently uploaded appears to be the logo of the game.

WB Games Chicago to Become Netherrealm Studios?

Our friends over at TRMK are reporting on the strong possibility that WB Games Chicago (the home of the MK team) will be renamed to Netherrealm Studios. According to gaming blog Superannuation, WB Games has registered the name "Netherrealm Studios". Following up on that, Patrick McCarron of TRMK did some checking, and found that the domain name netherrealmstudios.com has been registered by WB Games. While the name currently does not resolve, it's certain that it will be up and running at some point soon. From the TRMK news posting:

WB Secures Trademarks on Mortal Kombat Games and Clothing
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the folks over at Warner Bros. have fully secured their rights to the Mortal Kombat intellectual property, by trademarking games and clothing.

The three patents cover the following areas:

  • CD-ROM computer game discs; game equipment sold as a unit for playing a parlor-type computer game; downloadable software for use in playing online computer games, downloadable computer game software; video and computer game programs; video game cartridges and cassettes
  • Providing an on-line computer game; conducting contests on-line; providing a computer game that may be accessed by telecommunications network; and electronic publishing services, namely, publication of text and graphic works of others on-line featuring articles, novelizations, scripts, comic books, strategy guides, photographs and visual materials
  • Clothing for men, women and children – namely, shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jogging suits, trousers, pants, shorts, tank tops, skirts, blouses, dresses, rainwear, sweaters, jackets, coats, raincoats, snow suits, ties, robes, hats, caps, sunvisors, belts, scarves, sleepwear, pajamas, lingerie, underwear, boots, shoes, sneakers, sandals, socks, booties, slipper socks, swimwear and masquerade and Halloween costumes and masks sold in connection therewith

Some are already speculating that there may be a return to the mid-90s, in which Mortal Kombat merchandise was everywhere. It may be a bit early for such predictions, although this certainly would be a good first step in such a direction.

Thanks go to forum member cyberdog for raising this discussion!
Threshold Sues Warner Bros Over Rights to Third MK Film
With recent reports of the third MK movie being started up again by Warner Bros., it was only a matter of time before Threshold Entertainment voiced its concerned about its own intellectual property rights on the Franchise.

Apparently, Threshold had signed a contract with Midway to renew its rights to the films as recently as 2006. Warner Bros. has selected a screenwriter (Oren Uziel) apparently without any involvement from Threshold, therefore they have filed a new breach of contract lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court stating that WB "has avoided communicating with Threshold and has in bad faith prevented Threshold from utilizing the interest they have in the MIDWAY property".

Interestingly enough, the complaint also mentions separate litigation from Threshold Entertainment against Warner Bros. for the rights to the two previous films.

Ed Boon, commenting from Twitter, had this to say:
February 17, 2010: Must. Bite. Tongue. Harder.... http://tinyurl.com/ylejpnu
So, who really is entitled to produce the third Mortal Kombat film - Warner Bros. or Threshold? Does Midway's bankruptcy and subsequent purchase by WB negate Threshold's rights, or not? These are the questions that will be decided in court, but its the fans who could ultimately lose, as there currently seems to be no end in sight for the nearly 15 years the movie's been in "development hell".

To read Threshold's original complaint in its entirety, click here (PDF format). To read the article on Kotaku, click here.

Thanks again to samus_aran3900 for yet another News Lead!

Update: February 25, 2011 – Warner Bros. won a major victory in a Los Angeles Superior Court this week, with the finding that a December ruling judgment for them to pay Threshold $14,000 rendered the rest of the case moot. (The original amount of the lawsuit against Warner Bros. was for $9.3 million). Warner Bros. wrote, in a statement to Hollywood Reporter regarding how WB honored the contract regarding income from the first two MK movies:
"We are very pleased that the court dismissed Threshold’s multi-million dollar claims... This victory fully vindicates Warner’s position that it accounted to Threshold fairly, appropriately and according to the parties’ contract."
While this seems to clear the way for Warner Bros. to proceed with releasing the Mortal Kombat films on Blu-Ray unhindered [full story], Threshold has announced plans to appeal and additionally, has 2 separate pending lawsuits against Warner Bros., one of them potentially hindering their ability to proceed with the upcoming Mortal Kombat live action series..
All Midway Titles Removed from Xbox Marketplace, Including UMK3

According to a report seen on Kotaku, all of Midway's titles on Xbox LIVE Marketplace have been removed. This also includes the sole MK title on Arcade: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. According to the article, the titles are still available on the console if the titles were already purchased, and could possibly still be downloaded if deleted. However, it is not possible to purchase them at this time. The cause of the removal is not known at this time, but it's very possible it's due to rights transfers between Midway and Warner Bros. Games.