Mortal Kombat film producer files to block Midway sale to Warner

By Stephany Nunneley
25 June 2009 21:03 GMT


Threshold Entertainment’s Lawrence Kasanoff has filed a motion to block the sale of Midway to Warner Bros. in order to “preserve his IP rights” to certain Mortal Kombat characters and the right to create film and television projects based on the franchise.

Kasanoff, the producer for the Mortal Kombat films, claims he made the series what it is today and says characters Liu Kang, Sonya Blade and Scorpion are now recognizable names due to his golden hand.

In 1993, Kasanoff visited Midway… with an idea to launch the Mortal Kombat concept in a totally new direction. Specifically, Kasanoff proposed to develop… a full feature-length motion picture, a television series, and other productions. Midway was initially skeptical, as Kasanoff’s idea was revolutionary at the time.

The Mortal Kombat series, as it stands today, is far more a creation of Threshold and Kasanoff than of Midway. Midway’s creative input was almost entirely limited to the videogames. On their own, the videogames provided only minimal back-story and mythology, and only flat, “stock” characters… Kasanoff and Threshold were responsible for virtually all of the creative input that went into turning the videogame concept into a multimedia enterprise.

The suit estimates the MK franchise has accumulated approximately $4 billion over the years, and according to a Threshold company statement:

“[Kasanoff] is the Producer of all Mortal Kombat non video game media including the two blockbuster films, the television series, the animated series, platinum selling soundtracks, home video, Internet, CD-Roms and the live tour.”

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