Mortal Kombat: Rebirth is a 2010 action short film directed by Kevin Tancharoen with fight choreography by Larnell Stovall who also choreographed the recent 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." 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".
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
Development and releaseEdit
Initially appearing on YouTube, the video was received with confusion by websites such as IGN and 1UP.com, 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, while Ryan admitted her appearance was as a favor to a friend and described the video as a pitch for a film. Tancharoen made the movie for $7,500.
Series creator Ed Boon himself has noted that the film was "awesome" and had "no idea it was being made", though he did note that "probably crosses the line" as far as "re-imagining" goes. He later stated that he thought it was "incredibly well done" and that it was "a legitimate alternate universe Mortal Kombat".