WB Digital Distribution produces live action show on Machinima
After “Mortal Kombat: Legacy” generated a fan following and helped rejuvenate the fighting franchise — which now includes a new film and videogames — Warner Bros. Digital Distribution will produce a second season of the web series.Kevin Tancharoen returns to direct the live action series, which will bow again exclusively on Machinima in spring 2013. Tancharoen co-wrote the script with Josh Baizer and Marshall Johnson (“Dead Loss”) that revolves around the rivalries and histories of the fierce warriors in the game as Raiden and his recruits clash against the dark forces of Outworld. Newcomers to the project, which is lensing in Los Angeles, include “Glee’s” Harry Shum, Jr., as the warlord adviser Kuai Liang, and Casper Van Dien as martial arts film actor Johnny Cage. Also starring are Brian Tee (“The Wolverine”) as Shaolin Monk Liu Kang, Mark Dacascos (“Cradle 2 the Grave “) as Kung Lao, Ian Anthony Dale (“Hawaii Five-O”) as ninja Scorpion, and Cary Tagawa as sorcerer Shang Tsung. Lance Sloane (“H+: The Digital Series,” “Act of Valor”) and Tancharoen are producing the series, with the Bandito Brothers providing production services, and Hayden Roush and Marina Stabile serving as line producers. First season of “Legacy” proved one of the top draws last year, generating more than 60 million views on Machinima, and with Microsoft’s web series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,” helped the younger male-skewing site entrench itself as an online destination for original programming. “We have become a destination for episodic narrative series thanks in part to the first season of ‘Mortal Kombat: Legacy,’ and we look forward to breaking new ground with this much anticipated new season,” said Allen DeBevoise, chairman, co-founder, and CEO of Machinima. Through its YouTube channel, Machinima generates 2.3 billion video views per month, and over 253 million viewers monthly, company said, appealing mostly to 18-34-year-old males. As a result of its success, WB chose to invest more coin in the follow up series — and use the project as a marketing tool to promote its upcoming feature that Tancharoen is helming for New Line. Warner Bros. Interactive also successfully relaunched the “Mortal Kombat” videogame last year, which NetherRealm Studios is producing, led by creative director Ed Boon, who created the original fighting game in 1992. New game sold 3 million units. “With added visual effects and storylines that dive deeper into our warriors as they make their way to the tournament, we’re taking this series to a whole new level,” Tancharoen said.