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The King of Fighters (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ) is a film inspired by The King of Fighters series. The movie is directed by action director Gordon Chan ("The Medallion", "Fist of Legend") and the new face screenwriter, Rita Augustine, replaces "Fearless" scriptor Chris Chow. Joseph Chou, Siew-Loong Tim Kwok, Bobby Sheng act as the movie's producers.
The film's budget was $12 million. The film was first released August 2010 in Singapore and Canada.
The King of Fighters is a tournament held in an alternate dimension. When contestants are issued challenges, they enter the tournament via a special bluetooth headset.
At a museum in Boston, Mai Shiranui and her boyfriend Iori Yagami attend a private unveiling of three relics: The Kagura Mirror, the Yagami Necklace and the Kusanagi Sword. All three relics are believed to have the capability to open a portal into another dimension, where the mystical entity known as the Orochi resides. Legend says that whoever controls the Orochi will be granted limitless powers.
Suddenly, Rugal Bernstein storms into the exhibit, shooting at everyone in sight and slashing Chizuru Kagura in the stomach with the Kusanagi Sword before running off with all three relics. He uses his blood and that of Chizuru to open a portal and disappear before he is captured. However, the sword does not vanish with him. It is revealed to Mai by Chizuru that the sword is a fake, and only Saisyu Kusanagi knows the whereabouts of the real sword. Chizuru also warns Mai that she alone must defeat Rugal and that Iori should not be involved.
Mai heads to a mental institution, where Saisyu has resided for the past 10 years and remains in a catatonic state. There, she meets his son, Kyo Kusanagi, who is unfamiliar with Chizuru or the stolen relics. She leaves the room and heads to her car, while Kyo puts his father to bed and reads him a book of proverbs. Mai decides to stay in her car in front of the institution until the next morning, when Iori meets her there. When they return to Saisyu's room, Iori's presence suddenly breaks Saisyu's catatonic state, and the elder Kusanagi threatens to kill Iori before losing consciousness and dying.
Meanwhile, at another hospital where Chizuru is recovering from her injury, she is informed by her colleague Scott that Rugal has altered the King of Fighters database and issued challenges to all fighters around the world. Mature and Vice are lured in and defeated by Rugal, who makes them his servants.
CIA agent Terry Bogard enters Chizuru's room, demanding information on Rugal's whereabouts and the tournament. She tells him of the different dimensions that exist, but he does not believe a word. Chizuru then tells Terry to go to Seattle and ask Mai, who is actually an undercover operative sent by the CIA to infiltrate Chizuru's organization a year ago.
At a cemetery in Seattle, where Saisyu is buried, Kyo and Iori confront each other once again. Iori explains that both Kusanagi and Yagami clans were destined to be enemies. Mai hitches a ride with Kyo to his home, where she explains to him that she is looking for the Kusanagi Sword. Kyo tells her that centuries ago, according to family folklore, a Yagami ancestor attempted to release the Orochi, but it consumed him with murderous rage. Kyo's ancestor killed the Yagami and returned the Orochi into its world. Mai tells Kyo that Rugal is out to unleash the Orochi once again. Kyo, meanwhile, wants to confront Rugal, who destroyed his father's mental state.
At a hotel, Mai and Kyo meet up with Iori and Terry. It is revealed that Rugal is using the tournament dimension to merge it with the real world. After Mai blows her cover in front of Kyo, Iori puts on his Bluetooth headset and enters the tournament dimension to confront Rugal. There, he defeats Mature and Vice in combat, only to have his mind consumed by the Orochi.
The next day, Kyo is lured into the tournament dimension, where he first fights Rugal and loses, but is allowed to live as a warning. This prompts him to bring out his ancestral sword and join Chizuru and Terry into the tournament after Mai is dragged in by Rugal. When the four meet up, they are separated into different dimensions, with Kyo fighting Rugal and Mai and Terry facing Mature and Vice. In the middle of a sword fight, Rugal is about to decapitate Kyo when Iori suddenly appears and intervenes. Here, Rugal reveals to Kyo that several years back, he battled Saisyu, Chizuru and Iori over control of the Orochi. During that fight, Iori allowed the Orochi to take over his body, defeating Rugal, but also destroying Saisyu's mental state by bashing his head against a wooden barrier several times. This leads to a fight between Kyo and Iori. Kyo slashes Iori in the back, releasing the Orochi from his body.
Disappointed by the outcome of the fight, Rugal sends Kyo, Iori and Mai into another dimension to face them with his full potential. Chizuru and her multiple clones appear, revealing that she has found the mirror and the necklace. The heroes fail in their first attempt to combine the relics and trap Rugal, with Chizuru mortally wounded. Mai takes her place as the mirror holder, but as she, Kyo and Iori corner Rugal, they are once again overcome by his powers. Rugal destroys Kyo's sword, but as he is about to finish him off with a fireball, Kyo magically generates a new sword to block it. He then throws the sword and destroys Rugal.
Back in the real world, Scott places a lantern on the ocean in memory of Chizuru. Kyo decides to keep the family tradition by continuing with the tournament. He reflects on his late father's teachings while Iori stares at him from the other side of the pier.
Initially, Production was by Axis Entertainment's Joseph Chou (who produced "Appleseed: Ex Machina") and Tim Kwok of L.A.-based Convergence Entertainment ("Wicked City".) and would have been jointly financed by Japanese production and rights management group Micott & Basara and Australian-U.S. sales agent Arclight/Easternlight.
After several setbacks, the film was then backed by Inferno Entertainment as an English language, Taiwanese co-production between Double Edge Entertainment, China's Enlight Media, Japan's Micott & Basara, the U.S.' Convergence Entertainment and Axis Entertainment. A news article posted on December 17, 2008 states that this movie was additionally backed by the US Inferno Entertainment, the U.K.'s Scion Films, and Singapore's Innoform Media.
Micott has rights in Japan and South Korea, Innoform has rights in Singapore and Malaysia, and Inferno takes the rest of the world. Sony has a first-look deal with Inferno for North America. Filming was scheduled to begin in September 2008 in Vancouver, Canada, but began on November 27, 2008.
According to Sean Faris's official website, the actor finished filming his role January 19, 2009.
- Sean Faris - Kyo Kusanagi
- Maggie Q - Mai Shiranui
- Will Yun Lee - Iori Yagami
- Francoise Yip - Chizuru Kagura
- Monique Ganderton - Mature
- Bernice Liu - Vice
- Ray Park - Rugal Bernstein
- David Leitch - Terry Bogard also action choreographer
- Hiro Kanagawa - Saisyu Kusanagi
- Sam Hargrave - Mr. Big