The return of Mortal Kombat and Critters as digital shorts
Ron Seifried | On 22, Oct 2014Franchises will never die; they just discover new outlets. Warner Bros. new short-form digital production unit Blue Ribbon Content, will begin developing new webisodes on several old, rebootable ideas. But then, isn’t everything rebootable today? Teaming up with House Party writer/director Reginald Hudlin, yet another comicbook will make its live action debut. Static Shock is about superhero Static by Dwayne McDuffie and Robert L. Washington III that has already received an animated series treatment on the WB in 2000-2004. But the most familiar production gearing up will be Mortal Kombat, featuring the tired franchises eclectic group of misfits and new characters that will be featured on the Mortal Kombat X video game to be released in April 2015. The new series will be produced by the same team behind Mortal Kombat: Legacy short video series that ran for two seasons ending in 2013. Other reboots from previous film franchises include the alien horror series Critters, a Veronica Mars “reality-comedy” and an animated Justice League. With more viewers tuning in onto their mobile devices, TV ratings plummeting and film box office revenue sinking, the alternative option of watching content on the go is becoming more mainstream. Some of the media conglomerates may be late in getting into the short-form game, but its never too late for inexpensive, in-house properties. Marvel Studios has successfully produced a series of One-Shots focusing on supporting players in their Cinematic Universe, with the first going mainstream in early 2015 with the broadcast premiere of Agent Carter. The new direction is only a natural shift into content sharing, only this time with major corporations taking the reigns from the amateur online producers Warner Bros. is looking to do the same by first dipping their toe in the proverbial media pond with lesser known properties, but you can bet they will expand their other empires including DC Comics and Harry Potter universe’s into the short-form market. The current generation of influential viewers are in the process of making traditional broadcast television irrelevant, just as terrestrial radio has gone to way of streaming radio services. Warner Bros. press release: Series Orders Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles (Machinima) — Animated shortform series from Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett (producers of the legendary Batman: The Animated Series) will debut on Machinima in 2015. Based on Justice League: Gods & Monsters, an original animated film that will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment later in 2015. Untitled Mortal Kombat Series (distributed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment) — An all-new series that showcases some of the franchise’s most storied characters, while introducing a new generation of fighters. Play It Again, Dick (CW Seed) — Co-written and executive produced by Veronica Mars creator/executive producer Rob Thomas for CW Seed, the digital-only studio of The CW Television Network. Play It Again, Dick stars Ryan Hansen as himself as he pleads with former Veronica Mars castmates and friends to help him get his character, Dick Casablancas, a spinoff. Live-action comedy development RejecTED — Check out some of the lesser-known and just completely rejected speeches that the world never got to hear — until now — in this original satirical comedy. Ginger Snaps — Follow a troop of young girls as they backstab, manipulate and sabotage their way through the seedy underworld of the Ginger Snaps and preserve their power and influence at the top of the cookie pile. Golden Revenge — Two adorable house pets — a cat and dog — love their life with their owner. His new wife? Not so much. After receiving an “it’s me or the pets” ultimatum, the husband takes the cat and dog deep into the forest and leaves them behind. Now it’s up to the pets to find their way across the country — to exact their revenge! Action/sci-fi development (live-action) Ouroboros — Original horror/thriller from producer Akiva Goldsman (executive producer of the Paranormal Activity franchise) follows two police officers over the course of one night in a remote part of Wisconsin as they are overwhelmed by a series of mysterious attacks. Static Shock — Writer/producer/director Reginald Hudlin leads the creative team behind a live-action adaptation of Static Shock, featuring the super hero Static, aka Virgil Ovid Hawkins. Based on the Static comic published by DC Comics. Critters — Blue Ribbon revisits the world of the legendary New Line Cinema cult classic movie franchise, as a new batch of alien pests descends upon the planet in this new digital series written by Michael Jelenic & Aaron Horvath (Teen Titans Go!). Virtual reality Batman: The Animated Series Experience — Blue Ribbon, DC Entertainment and visual effects pioneer OTOY are teaming up on an immersive entertainment experience that will see the Batcave from Batman: The Animated Series brought to life via interactive holographic video for virtual reality devices such as the Samsung GALAXY Gear VR, the Oculus Rift, and on forthcoming “glasses-free” light field displays.