Warner Brothers has been working toward a theatrical return for Mortal Kombat for quite some time, recently adding a director to the long anticipated project. Their ponderous pace will likely see them beaten to the punch by a production company in Ghana, whose film trailer is already taking the world by storm!
The Kumawood Productions trailer anchors the story to Edenian Princess Kitana, whose life is turned upside down when the warriors of Outworld invade. Like the plot of the games, she trains with Mileena, believing herself to be the daughter of powerful warlord: Shao Kahn! Mortal Kombat inevitably ensues.
African pop culture group OMGVoice brought the trailer to prominence by sharing it via Facebook. The story was picked up by Kotaku, who aptly describe it as "somewhere between a Sweded flick and a YouTube web series". Series co-creator John Tobias shared his enjoyment of the global reach of MK via Twitter.
The finished product may not rival Hollywood's future installment, but it seemingly expands the scope of its Ghana production company, who are best known for improvised low budget movies.
They take their name from the Kumawood micro-industry of filmmaking, identified by the Asante Twi dialect.used primarily in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Typically made on shoestring budgets, they don't often feature the dynamic camera work of sweeping drone shots found in the trailer. The use of the Mortal Kombat license is more than likely breaking international copyright, but unlikely to draw litigation.
The quaint production brings to life versions of Jax, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Liu Kang, Raiden and many more iconic fighters from the series. References to the games are so heavy, the fighting can be seen mapping to a two-dimensional plane on digital recreations of game backdrops. There are even sound effects from the original trilogy! Shades of 1997's theatrically released Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, or even Threshold's early entry into web series production: Mortal Kombat: Federation of Martial Arts.
[Related Article: Retrospective: The Mortal Kombat Cinematic Universe]