If you thought the arrival of Liu Kang in Mortal Kombat: Legacy 2 was going to be another examination of the classic martial arts hero - you'd be dead wrong.
Director Kevin Tancharoen has made a steady habit of veering wildly from the source material, but according to star and MK familiar, Brian Tee, that's ultimately exactly what attracted him to the role.
In a recent interview with Nerd Reactor, the Liu Kang actor discussed his journey into the all new, all different world of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. A journey that - much like Liu Kang's - started with a certain amount trepidation.
When the offer came in, I was like, “No,” but they were like, “No, read it. Read it!” I got a great buddy of mine who’s playing Scorpion in the first series and in the second series. [Ian Anthony Dale] gave me a call and he goes, “No, dude. Read it.” So I read it, and it blew my mind. It’s pretty much the Liu Kang saga where he’s the anti-hero of the series. And you see why he’s so angry and frustrated with Kung Lao and why he’s riding the lines between different worlds and realms, whether it’s Outworld or Earthrealm, no one really knows for sure where he wants to go.
As already seen in the first trailer; Liu Kang will shed his Bruce Lee-inspired trappings as a dedicated Shaolin hero - reinvented as a hoody wearing wildcard with a deeply conflicted edge.
Tee -- who cites his favourite character from the games as Sub-Zero -- quotes this significant change in the Liu Kang character as a major motivation for taking on the role. "Flipped upside down," he describes this new incarnation of Kang as "a much more rounded, better, surreal, and visceral take on it."
Liu Kang in the video game, to me, when I was a kid coming up, I thought, “That’s like a wannabe Bruce Lee.” He was this one note caricature of a martial artist/kung fu guy. I wanted someone with a lot more depth and a lot more feeling and character struggle.
The second series of the web serial is set to tell the story of the classic Mortal Kombat tournament, but will once again use episodic structure to examine specific characters and settings within the bigger picture. According to Tee, it will essentially be a continuation of the first series, with even greater focus on characters and an expanded cast.
The star speculates he'll appear in just over half of the series; featured heavily as the traditional figurehead of the tournament, even if this isn't a traditional take on the savior of Earthrealm.
[Tee] will appear opposite a range of new characters and actors, including Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who returns to the role he made famous in the 1995 feature film as Shang Tsung. The Outworld sorceror has traditionally played the yang to Liu Kang's heroic yin, evil counterpart to the martial arts hero. Legacy will present a blurred relationship as Tsung tempts the embittered Kang.
The first official trailer debuted in February during the Streamy Awards [full story]. The trailer offers a lengthy glimpse of whats to come from the soon to be released series. Legacy 2 will once again feature online via Machinima. The show is expected to build its launch around San Diego Comic-Con in July.
Mortal Kombat: Legacy 2 will be released soon guys.All the team members are working hard at making the launch as big as it can be!— Kevin Tancharoen (@KTANCH) May 10, 2013