Mortal Kombat: Rebirth

Mortal Kombat: Rebirth
Mortal Kombat: Rebirth
Directed by Kevin Tancharoen
Written by Oren Uziel
Release date(s) June 8, 2010 (2010-06-08)
Running time 8 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Mortal Kombat: Rebirth is a 2010 action short film directed by Kevin Tancharoen with fight choreography by Larnell Stovall who also choreographed Undisputed III: Redemption. Based on the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games, the short-film "actually was made by the director to sell Warner Bros. on his vision for a reimagined Mortal Kombat film."[1] The pitch eventually evolved into the web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy.



The short-film features an alternate version of the Mortal Kombat universe. The characters of the game are portrayed with vastly different origins, based on realism. There is no mention of Outworld or any other supernatural elements, although the tournament itself is a main part of the storyline in this short. Tancharoen himself has noted that he wouldn't shy away from supernatural elements entirely, but they have to be "done in a very tasteful way".[2]

The film follows Deacon City Police Captain Jackson Briggs as he informs assassin Hanzo Hasashi about the criminals Reptile and Baraka; the latter has recently killed actor-turned-undercover-officer Johnny Cage in a fight. Briggs believes they were both working for a man named Shang Tsung. He asks Hasashi to kill them in a mysterious tournament hosted by Tsung. When offered his freedom in exchange for accomplishing such tasks, Hasashi reveals that he willingly had himself incarcerated—and could free himself at any time. Then Sonya Blade arrives with a folder and informs Hasashi that his enemy Sub-Zero is alive and the one he killed was his younger brother. It becomes clear to Hasashi that the terms of his participation in the tournament involve killing Reptile, Baraka and Shang Tsung in return for access to Sub-Zero. Since the real Sub-Zero will be at the tournament, Hasashi, now calling himself Scorpion, agrees to participate.


  • Michael Jai White as Jackson Briggs, a captain in the Deacon City Police Department. On his office door at the beginning of the film, the last two letters of his first name are faded, thus reading as "Jacks", a nod to "Jax". IGN contacted Michael Jai White's representatives and asked about the video, and they answered White believed the shoot was a marketing component for Mortal Kombat 9.[3] He noted that the recent, grittier reimaginings of both Spider-Man and Batman were a success, and expects the same to happen to Mortal Kombat.[4]
  • Jeri Ryan as Sonya Blade, Jackson Briggs's partner. Ryan said she took the part as a favor to a friend.[5]
  • Matt Mullins as Johnny Cage, a former movie star that became an undercover agent after his Hollywood career died. In a short flashback, he is killed by Baraka. When asked about how he got involved in the project, Mullins said: "I had known Kevin [Tancharoen] for about five years, but I never had a chance to work with him. A few months ago I got a call from Kevin about being involved in a short that he was planning to shoot. He sent me the script and I was blown away. When I sat down to meet with him, and he explained his vision, I was so excited to be involved and could not wait to start."[6]
  • Lateef Crowder as Alan Zane / Baraka, a plastic surgeon who, after accidentally killing a patient, went on to kill two dozen more. Faced with the shame of being labeled a failed doctor, Zane pierced his face, sharpened his teeth, and surgically attached a pair of metal blades to his forearms. In a short flashback, he fights Johnny Cage, finally decapitating him with his arm blades.
  • Ian Anthony Dale as Hanzo Hasashi / Scorpion, the top assassin of the Shirai Ryu who offered himself up to the police for killing the man he thought was his nemesis. In keeping with the video game series, his eyes are completely white and his signature spear weapon also appears. His trademark battle-cry ("Get over here!") can also be heard at the ending.
  • Richard Dorton as Reptile, a mass-murderer born with a rare genetic disorder, Harlequin-type ichthyosis, in which his skin produces too many cells and his eyelids are formed inside out. It is said he likes to devour the heads of his victims, which is a nod to his "Head Eat" Fatality from the video game series.

Sub-Zero's face appears in a flash sequence and a policeman resembling Stryker is briefly seen. A reference to Noob Saibot is also made, as it states Scorpion killed Sub-Zero's brother.

Development and release

Initially appearing on YouTube, the video was received with confusion by websites such as IGN and, both of which were uncertain if the video was a viral marketing ploy to promote either a new film or a video game. Contradicting reports came from the actors involved, with White's representatives believing it was an advertisement for an upcoming Mortal Kombat game,[9] while Ryan admitted her appearance was as a favor to a friend and described the video as a pitch for a film.[10] Tancharoen made the movie for $7,500.[2]

Series creator Ed Boon himself has noted that the film was "awesome"[11] and had "no idea it was being made",[12] though he did note that "probably crosses the line" as far as "re-imagining" goes.[13] He later stated that he thought it was "incredibly well done" and that it was "a legitimate alternate universe Mortal Kombat".[14]

Mortal Kombat: Legacy

Rumours circulated the internet that Tancharoen had successfully acquired the rights to create a mini series on Mortal Kombat. These were confirmed on January 24, 2011, as it was officially announced that an official 10-episode web mini-series based on the short had been greenlit by Warner Bros. The series was slated to be written by Kevin Tancharoen and Spartacus: Blood and Sand writers Todd Helbing and Aaron Helbing, with Tancharoen directing. Michael Jai White, Jeri Ryan, Matt Mullins and Ian Anthony Dale will reprise their roles as Jax, Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage and Scorpion respectively.[15] Shooting began in Vancouver in February. On April 12, 2011 the first full episode of the series was released on[16]


  1. ^ "ComingSoon". ComingSoon. 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  2. ^ a b Weintraub, Steve (2010-06-09). "Interview with MORTAL KOMBAT: REBIRTH Director Kevin Tancharoen; Talks About What He Wants to do in a Feature Version!". Collider. Collider. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  3. ^ var authorId = "" by Phil Pirrello (2010-06-08). "IGN". Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  4. ^ "'Mortal Kombat:Rebirth' Star Michael Jai White in an Exclusive Interview". Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  5. ^ "1UP". 1UP. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  6. ^ Gutierrez, Yaris. "CraveOnline". CraveOnline. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  7. ^ "Original Mortal Kombat:Rebirth YouTube video upload source". 
  8. ^ "Confirmed by James Lew on Twitter". 
  9. ^ Pirrello, Phil. "Best. Mortal Kombat Movie. Ever?". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
  10. ^ Pigna, Kris (2010-06-09). "Mortal Kombat Trailer is Director's Pitch for MK Film". UGO Networks. Retrieved 2010-06-10. 
  11. ^ noobde (2010-06-10). "Twitter / noobde: A million people asked me". Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  12. ^ noobde (2010-06-10). "Twitter / noobde: But I was just as surprise". Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  13. ^ noobde (2010-06-10). "Twitter / noobde: Its TOTALLY different & pr". Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  14. ^ Graft, Kris (2010-08-04). "Back To Basics With Mortal Kombat". Gamasutra. p. 3. Retrieved 2010-08-06. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Mortal Kombat: Legacy - Episode 1". YouTube. April 11th, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 

External links

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