VIZ Pictures Acquires North American Rights to K-20: THE FIEND WITH TWENTY FACES
Premiere Theatrical Screenings this Month at New York Asian Film Festival
Source: VIZ Media, MediaLab press releases
Additional Material: NTV (Nippon Television Network)
Official Movie Site: k20themovie (US), K-20 (Japanese)
Special Thanks to Evelyn Dubocq and Erik Jansen
VIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, has licensed the new action film K-20: THE FIEND WITH TWENTY FACES (K-20: Kaijin Nijumenso Den) and announced special theatrical screenings at the New York Asian Film Festival 2009.
K-20: THE FIEND WITH TWENTY FACES was released in Japan by Toho on December 20, 2008, and has been marketed internationally by NTV with the English title K-20: LEGEND OF THE MASK. The New York premiere will take place during NYAFF, with the next showing scheduled for 1:45pm on Tuesday, June 30 at the IFC Center (323 Sixth Avenue, at West 4th Street, New York, NY). More information on this film and the New York Asian Film Festival is available at the official NYAFF site.
VIZ Pictures will be releasing the DVD of K-20: THE FIEND WITH TWENTY FACES in 2010 through their distributor, VIZ Media.
About the Film
Director Shimako Sato brought together a strong cast and cutting edge special effects to bring K-20: THE FIEND WITH TWENTY FACES to life. Set in the fictional Japanese capital city of Teito in the late 1940s, it is a world where World War II never happened and the nobility system established in the Meiji Era still exists. An extreme divide exists between the upper and lower classes, with 90 percent of the country’s wealth being held by the upper class. The capital of Teito is in crisis with the emergence of a menacing phantom thief known as “The Fiend (Kaijin) with Twenty Faces” or simply “K-20.” The film is based on The Story of Nijyumenso (aka The Fiend With 20 Faces), a novel written by Soh Kitamura, and also features the mesmerizing rock theme song “The Shock of the Lightning” by the British band Oasis.
Heikichi Endo (played by Japanese leading man Takeshi Kaneshiro) is a circus acrobat who is deceived by K-20 and is framed to take the fall for the phantom thief. Using his incredible physical dexterity, Heikichi wages war against K-20 in order to clear his name and fights alongside K-20’s next wealthy target, Duchess Yoko Hashiba (Takako Matsu) and her fiancée, the brilliant detective Kogoro Akechi (Toru Nakamura).
But what is the ultimate decision Heikichi has to make?
Actor Takeshi Kaneshiro is internationally renowned and made his screen debut in the film EXECUTIONERS (Xian Dai Hao Xia Zhuan, 1993) followed by the critically acclaimed Wong Kar-Wai film CHUNGKING EXPRESS (Chung Hing Sam Lam, 1994). More recently he has starred in films including RETURNER (Ritana, 2002), HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS (Shi Mian Mai Fu, 2004), THE WARLORDS (Tau Ming Chong, 2007), ACCURACY OF DEATH (Suwito Rein: Shinigami no Seido, 2008), and RED CLIFF (Chi Bi, 2008).
“There is great familiarity and love in Japan for the story of K-20,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of VIZ Pictures. “The character of K-20 originated in the best-selling 26-volume Boy Detectives series written by Japanese literary master Rampo Edogawa in the 1930s and has been read by more than 100 million people. The film, which we are proud to present at this year’s New York Asian Film Festival, is filled with breakneck action and speed as Director Shimako Sato uses extreme camera angles, computerized effects. For fans of historical drama as well as action cinema, K-20: THE FIEND WITH TWENTY FACES is a definite must-see on this year’s festival roster!”
About VIZ Pictures, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Pictures, Inc. distributes Japanese live-action films and DVDs, with particular focus on Japanese “kawaii (cute) and cool” pop culture. VIZ Pictures approaches each release from a J-pop fan’s point of view to serve manga and anime generation in North America . VIZ Pictures titles include DEATH NOTE, KAMIKAZE GIRLS, LINDA LINDA LINDA, PING PONG, THE TASTE OF TEA, TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO and others. The company will continue to offer the hottest visual entertainment straight from the “Kingdom of Pop” for audiences of all ages in North America . VIZ Pictures, Inc. is an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC, the San Francisco-based leading U.S. publisher of Japanese mangaand merchandise licensor of Japanese animation such as the popular NARUTO animated TV series. For more information please visit VIZ Pictures or www.viz.com.
For more information on K-20: THE FIEND WITH TWENTY FACES please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan:
- Japanese Movies at American Film Market 2008
- K-20: LEGEND OF THE MASK Production Notes
- New York Asian Film Festival 2009- Information and Schedule