Coming Spring to digital distributors; Mortal Kombat is an anthology of ten live-action episodes, expected to run approximately seven to ten minutes each. They are the genesis of director Kevin Tancharoen's efforts to reinvigorate the celluloid image of the MK franchise, famously established on screen by Paul Anderson, with his 1995 feature release of the same name.

Kevin Tancharoen on the set with Jeri Ryan

Last month; [Kevin] Tancharoen [pictured above] told Gamasutra about working closely with Ed Boon, describing his "fanboy geek moment" at meeting the series' co-creator, who liked the director's popularly received test short and "... knows it took liberties with the universe of Mortal Kombat, but was okay with that."

The series owes much of it's origins to the demo reel that leaked accidentally to the internet in June [full story], featuring several actors who have since joined the official project, acting within a scenario very loosely inspired by the series. It remains to be seen if the ten episode shorts will adhere more faithfully to the iconic canon of the games, or veer into interpretive territory as it details the adapted escapades of MK's most popular characters.

Mortal Kombat and all associated licenses and trademarks were acquired by Warner Brothers, from the bankrupt Midway Games, in July, 2009 [full story]. WB progressed with a noted intent to exploit and embellish the series' cache value in multiple mediums it previously enjoyed success in. They will release the series through their home video division, Warner Premiere.

As reported extensively by MKO; a cavalcade of actors have joined location filming in Vancouver in recent weeks. As you would expect, most of the feature characters are present and accounted for, with a few surprise additions confirmed to round out the cast!

Mortal Kombat Cast & Crew:
... Maj. Jackson "Jax" Briggs
... Lt. Sonya Blade
... Scorpion
... Sub-Zero
... Kano
... Raiden
... Johnny Cage
... Kurtis Stryker
... Cyrax/Hydro
... Sektor
... "Blue"
... Queen Sindel
... Kitana
... Kana Hasashi
... Mileena
... Quan Chi
... Shao Kahn
... Ed Goodman
... Action Star

... Director/Writer
... Writer
... Writer
... Producer
... Director of Photography
... Stunt Coordinator
... Costume Designer
... Costume Builder
... Set Designer
Michael Jai White
Jeri Ryan
Ian Anthony Dale
Kevan Ohtsji
Darren Shahlavi
Ryan Robbins
Matt Mullins
Tahmoh Penikett
Shane Warren Jones
Peter Shinkoda
Tracy Spiridakos
Beatrice King
Sam Tjhia
Maurissa Tancharoen
Jolene Tran
Michael Rogers
Aleks Paunovic
Ed Boon
Erica Cerra

Kevin Tancharoen
Aaron Helbing
Todd Helbing
Tim Carter
C. Kim Miles
Larnell Stovall
Alissa Swanson
Leslie Cairns
Luca Carati

A second press release provided the first official announcement of actors, whilst Twitter has played a major role in promoting and revealing the majority of names attached. Much of the cast have revealed their involvement themselves, and shared enthusiasm for the project via the social networking device, communicating both with fans, and each other.

NOTE: MKO must clarify that Richard Dorton, who played Reptile in the "unofficial" Rebirth short, has not yet been confirmed to return in the digital series. We apologise to anyone who was misled by this mistaken information.

Update Feb. 20: Actress Tracy Spiridakos has seemingly deleted her Twitter account (@TracySpiridakos amidst speculation about the nature of her character, "Blue". Aleks Paunovic (@alekspaun) also looks poised to join the cast in the coming week [via Twitter].

Update Feb. 22: An unverified report by Twitter user @JadedKrystal claims Beatrice Ilg and Peter Shinkoda will apear as Sindel and Sektor, respectively. The poster's relationship to the shoot is currently unknown. There are no updates regarding returning members of the cast from the Rebirth short. @Shane Warren Jones (Cyrax) tweeted "Two Words MK Fans- "Larnell Stovall" google it lol." We cannot yet confirm that Stovall will be involved with MK as an actor or choreographer.

Update Feb. 24: Vancouver based set designer, Luca Carati, can be added to the list of crew working on the series. James Lew, who appeared in the Rebirth short as Shang Tsung, is widely rumored to be returning, but has so far playfully denied involvement. Peter Shinkoda is also rumored to be appearing as Sektor.

Update Feb. 27: Fresh from the Twitterverse; Director Kevin Tancharoen personally confirms Tracy Spiridakos' "Blue" is not Princess Kitana, with fairly compelling photographic evidence. Exactly who or what "Blue" is remains uncertain, as does the nature of the blue goop appearing in the image. An icey sign of things to come, or something completely new? @KTANCH also confirms the iconic punching of private parts, courtesy of Matt Mullins' Johnny Cage! [1, 2]

Update Feb. 28: The Vancouver Acting School has confirmed, via this Tweet, that actress Beatrice King will be playing the part of Queen Sindel! It remains to be seen whether she is truly on the side of evil, as the wife of Shao Kahn, or if she will turn on him and join the forces of good.

Update Mar. 2: Sam Tjhia has thrown her name into the ring, confirming involvement in the series via Twitter (@SamTjhia). Like many recent additions to the series, she isn't giving much away.

The wave was led by twitter enthusiast and series Sonya Blade, @JeriLRyan, who MKO featured after a string of messages and photos [full story]. @RyRobbins, who will appear as Earth's God of Thunder protector, Raiden, also shared some less revealing photographs from the set [below].

Update Mar. 23: Kevin Tancharoen has confirmed Sam Tjiha's role (@SamTjiha) to be the one and only Princess Kitana! No word yet on whether or not she will have a dual role as Kitana's malformed clone-sibling, Mileena, but an image of what might be the two assassins fighting was released March 15. For the purposes of filming, a stunt actor may be employed.

Photos from the Vancouver set of Mortal Kombat
[via @JeriLRyan, @RyRobbins, @Victor_Lucas, @ShaneWarrenJ, & @AirikahChaira]

"Mortal Kombat" is expected to be released through new media channels such as iTunes and Amazon, with other possibilities also likely to present themselves. Pricing for the digitally distribubted series is yet to be made known. Mortal Kombat Online will continue to report details on the story as they present themselves.

The live-action series is part of a massive cross-media campaign to coincide with the April 19 release of the new video game. April will also see the release of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation on BluRay disc [full story], as well as a concept album, Mortal Kombat: Songs Inspired by the Warriors [full story].

Kevin Tancharoen who directed and produced the popular, unofficial "Mortal Kombat: Rebirth" fan short (watch below) that garnered over 10 million views worldwide, is bringing the same immersive directing style to this live-action digital new media series. Fans will be able to delve deep into the history of the warriors they know and love including "Sub-Zero" and "Scorpion." Shooting for "Mortal Kombat" is currently underway in Vancouver.

"It's extremely gratifying to have such talented actors playing these iconic roles," said Kevin Tancharoen, Director, Producer and Co-Writer of "Mortal Kombat." "They will bring the essence of 'Mortal Kombat' to life and gamers will be deeply immersed into the game's universe."

Written by Kevin Tancharoen, Aaron Helbing and Todd Helbing, and available online this spring from Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, the "Mortal Kombat" digital new media series is an anthology of multiple live action shorts. Each episode will provide never-before-revealed insights into characters featured in the upcoming videogame as well as the game's universe.

"Mortal Kombat," the newest chapter of the award-winning videogame franchise, will be on store shelves starting April 19th, 2011. Marking a triumphant return to the series' mature presentation and a reinvention of its classic 2D fighting mechanic, "Mortal Kombat" will introduce a number of new game-play features including tag team, a deeper story mode and nostalgic online and offline arcade battles. Players will be able to choose from an extensive lineup of iconic warriors and challenge their friends in head-to-head competition as well as several new game modes.

Bloody Disgusting reports a series synopsis that confirms the on-going conflict between Earthrealm and Shao Kahn, which has remained fundamental to the plot in all it's various incarnations. The blurb lacks specifics to connect it to the games, or a new adaptation, maintaining the general representation seen in press releases to date.

"Shao Kahn and Shang Tsung are obsessed with reigning over various realms (parallel universes) and the winners of Mortal Kombat competitions are granted supreme control over these worlds. The Earthrealm (Earth) is an unconscious participant in this competition and only a few select humans understand the consequences of losing Mortal Kombat and what it will mean to Earth."

Related Media Stories on Mortal Kombat Online:

Mortal Kombat the game is released April 19 (April 21 in Europe) for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is available for pre-order in regular and kollector's editions through most major outlets.

Follow Mortal Kombat Online on Twitter @MK_Online for updates on news and community activity. You can also connect with the cast and crew of the digital series; Kevin Tancharoen (@KTANCH), Jeri Ryan (@JeriLRyan), Michael Jai White (@MichaelJaiWhite), Ryan Robbins (@RyRobbins), Ian Anthony Dale (@IanAnthonyDale), Darren Shahlavi (@Shahlavi), Matt Mullins (@Sideswipematt), Shane Warren Jones (@ShaneWarrenJ), Tracy Spiridakos (@trspiridakos), C. Kim Miles (@VancouverDP), Maurissa Tancharoen (@MoTancharoen), Erica Cerra (@AirikahChaira), Allisa Swanson (@alissa_s), Leslie Cairns (@BuggyBag, and more!