Originally the character of Kano was Japanese-American. However, Ed Boon and John Tobias were so impressed with how Trevor Goddard portrayed him that they retconned Kano's history in future games to make him Australian, which they thought was Goddard's nationality. They later learned that, although Goddard gave Kano an Australian accent, Goddard himself was actually born in England but had claimed to be of Australian descent.
Steven Spielberg, an avid fan of video games, in particular the Mortal Kombat series, was set to make a cameo appearance as the director in Johnny Cage's first scene. However scheduling conflicts forced him to back out. Nonetheless, the "director" character in this scene does resemble Spielberg, which is most likely a reference to this.
When the chameleon creature takes over the body of an Outworld statue and rises as a green ninja, you can hear, very quietly, a voice say "Reptile". This is the voice of Shao Kahn, and was sampled directly from Mortal Kombat II (1993).
The locations in Thailand were so remote they were only accessible by boat. Cast, crew and equipment had to be transported by long canoes. An outhouse was built in a secluded area near the set so that the crew didn't have to make constant trips to and from the mainland.
Liu Kang doesn't perform any of his "special moves", until he has traveled to outworld. It is there in which he performs both his gravity-defying bicycle kick and later his fireball to Reptile and Shang Tsung respectively.
Scripted but not filmed was a scene where Shang Tsung allowed the "Kombatants" a night to bury Art Lean and mourn his loss. They buried him the Garden of Statues, underneath the statue of Kung Lao; this is the only place where Kung Lao appears in any of the movies. Also scripted but not filmed was a battle between Sonya Blade (who wins, naturally) and Jade, another of Shang Tsung's bodyguards.
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was the filmmakers' first and only choice for the role of Shang Tsung. He came to the audition in a costume, and read his lines while standing on a chair. Shang Tsung was depicted as relatively younger in the film in order to avoid the excessive makeup that would have been required to duplicate his aged appearance in the game.
Frank Welker was uncredited as the voice of the creature Reptile and w of the Emperor, Shao Kahn. The voice Welker gave Shao Kahn is almost identical to Welker's Dr. Claw voice on Inspector Gadget (1983).
The then-doomed role of Sonya Blade was plagued again as another Miss Teen USA model would try out for this demanding role. The first known and historic record of Sonya Blade - Variety, dated July 29, 1994, but made official August 12, 1994, the 1988 Miss Teen USA Kathleen McClellan was cited as Sonya Blade. Kasanoff would later confirm this in an interview that was published in Midway's underground Mortal Kombat Kombat Klub newsletter, the Pit II in 1994. Kathleen, however, was also injured on-set and ultimately lost the role to Bridgette Wilson-Sampras.
In a co-ordinated release schedule, the film of Mortal Kombat was released in August, a digital TV special came out at the end of the month, a tour arrived at Radio City Music Hall in September, a CD-ROM came out in October and Mortal Kombat 3 (1995) also came out that month.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The film was originally supposed to end just after Rayden tells Liu Kang and company: "I've gotta tell you something, you guys did great." But a new ending was re-shot and incorporated into the final film, which is when The Emperor (Shao Kahn) suddenly appears and says, "You weak, pathetic fools, I've come for your souls!" To which Rayden replies, "I don't think so." And he and the others prepare for battle.
Although the events in the film are primarily based in the events of Mortal Kombat (1992), it features some notable elements that were incorporated in Mortal Kombat II (1993): Jax and Kitana were introduced in the second game, where Reptile's reptilian nature was also first demonstrated; he was only seen in human form in the first Mortal Kombat game. After defeating Scorpion, Johnny Cage drops an autographed picture of himself near Scorpion's remains after their battle, which references his autograph Friendship move. Liu Kang uses his Bicycle Kick in his match against Reptile. The Shadow Priests, seen before the final battle, were first seen in Mortal Kombat II (1993) as part of one of the backgrounds. Sonya Blade is held captive and chained in Shang Tsung's tower, similar to how she was chained to pillars in Shao Kahn's arena stage in Mortal Kombat II (1993). Subzero's Ice Grenade, which he uses in the demonstration ("And now for a taste of things to come") is a Fatality in the second game, and a special move is referenced when he freezes the water that Liu Kang spills on the floor. When Johnny Cage kills Scorpion, he uses a shield with serrated edges to slice through his skin (to a PG-13 degree), which is a reference to Kung Lao's blade-rimmed hat and his associated Fatalities.