Mortal Kombat Wiki
Mortal Kombat Wiki

Mortal Kombat: Rebirth is a 2010 action and crime drama short-film that was directed by Kevin Tancharoen with fight choreography by Larnell Stovall. Based on the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games, the short-film "actually was made by the director to sell WB on his vision for a re-imagined MK film."[1]


The short-film features an alternate version of the Mortal Kombat universe. The characters of the game are portrayed with vastly different origins, founded in realism. There is no mention of Outworld or any other supernatural element, although the tournament itself is a main part of the storyline.

The film follows Captain Jackson Briggs while he informs an assassin named Hanzo Hasashi about the criminals Reptile and Baraka, the new Reptile being a man with harlequin type ichthyosis, and Baraka a failed surgeon who surgically attaches 2 10 inch blades to his arms, the latter of which has recently killed actor turned undercover officer Johnny Cage in a fight. Briggs believed they were both working for a man named Shang Tsung, and asks Hasashi to kill them in a mysterious tournament hosted by Tsung. Hasashi asks what will he be rewarded with for accomplish such tasks, and he is offered Sub-Zero, whom he thinks is dead. Sonya Blade then arrives with a folder and informs Hasashi that his enemy Sub-Zero is alive and the one he killed was his older brother. 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 (2011).[2]
  • Jeri Ryan as Sonya Blade, Jackson Briggs' partner. Ryan said she took the part as a favor to a friend.[3]
  • Matt Mullins as Johnny Cage, a former movie star that became an undercover agent after his Hollywood career died. When asked about how he got involved in the project, Mullis said: "I had known Kevin [Tancharoen] for about 5 years, but I never had a chance to work with him. A few months 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."[4]
  • Lateef Crowder as Alan Zane / Baraka, a plastic surgeon turned psychotic after accidentally killing a patient. He pierced his face, sharpened his teeth and added a pair of blades to his forearms. Crowder is also known for playing Eddy Gordo in the Tekken movie.
  • Ian Anthony Dale as Hanzo Hasashi / Scorpion, the top assassin of the Shirai Ryu who was arrested for killing the man he thought was his nemesis. Like the games, his eyes are completely white and his signature spear weapon also appears. His trademark "Get Over Here" battle cry can also be heard at the ending. Dale, like Lateef Crowder, also appears on the Tekken live-action movie where he plays Kazuya Mishima.
  • Richard Dorton as Reptile, a mass murderer born with the rare disorder harlequin type ichthyosis. It is said he likes to devour the heads of his victims, which is a nod to his "Head Eat" Fatality from the original games.
  • James Lew as Shang Tsung who is seen in the photograph on the YouTube video's primary image preview.[5][6]
  • Sub-Zero's face appears in a flash sequence (around the 7:12 mark) 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, mistaking him for his rival.

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,[7] while Ryan admitted her appearance was as a favor to a friend and described the video as a pitch for a film.[8] Tancharoen made the movie for $7,500.[9]

Series creator Ed Boon himself has noted that the film was "awesome"[10] and had "no idea it was being made,"[11] though he did note that "probably crosses the line" as far as "re-imagining" goes.[12] He later stated that he thought it was "incredibly well done" and that it was "a legitimate alternate universe Mortal Kombat."[13]

Official Mini-Series[]

On Jan. 14, 2011, it was announced that an official 9-episode web mini-series called Mortal Kombat: Legacy based on the short also directed by Tancharoen and Michael Jai White had been greenlit by Warner Bros. Shooting is scheduled to begin in Vancouver on February.[14][15] WB is allowing a 9 episode show based off the video. [16]

But Tancharoen still didn't get the green light from WB to reboot the original 1995 franchise. This is why in 2013, he quit.[17]

As of August, both the pitch and the YouTube account that uploaded it (MortalKombatRebirth) have been taken off of YouTube.



Mortal Kombat References[]

  • Jackson's name at his door is partly obscured at the beginning, thus reading 'Jacks', a nod to his name in the games, Jax.
  • How Reptile eats his victims' heads is a reference to his Signature 'Tasty Meal' Fatality.
    • Jackson even called Reptile's actions 'Fatalities'.
  • Baraka's arm blades return, but they are now knives sugically grafted to his arms.
    • Johnny Cage's murder is a reference to Baraka's 'Blade Chop' Fatality from Mortal Kombat II, as well as Cage being dead during the events of Mortal Kombat 3.
  • Shang Tsung's 'Tournament' that he's going to host is a reference to the 'Mortal Kombat' that he hosted in earlier games.
  • A reference to Noob Saibot is made, when Sonya said that Scorpion killed Sub-Zero's brother.
  • Jackson tells Scorpion to find Shang Tsung and 'Finish Him'.
  • Scorpion has his blank eyes and he says that "Hanzo Hasashi is dead".
    • His trademark "GET OVER HERE!" yell can be heard at the very end of the film.


External links[]


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