by Mick Hammond
Recently MMA Weekly reported on Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s new film role coming out on DVD in Japan. Cro Cop’s foray into acting isn’t going to be the only appearance by a Pride fighter in the cinema over the coming months.
In early 2004 it was announced that Dream Stage Entertainment, the parent company of Pride FC, would be getting into the movie business. Forming Dream Stage Pictures, the first production on the company’s slate was the feature film Nagurimono, which translates as “one whose nature is to fight.” Originally slated for a late 2004 release, the film is tentatively scheduled to arrive in Japanese theaters this upcoming September 5th.
The film will feature numerous past and present Pride fighters playing what else, fighters. Included in the cast of current and past Pride stars are Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Kazushi Sakuraba, Wanderlei Silva, and former Pride heavyweight sluggers Don Frye and Yoshihiro Takayama.
The story is based in the 1860’s era Tokyo and centers on a love story amongst the backdrop of private fights held Shogunate and Fudal Lords during the time of decline of their rule. Jackson, Silva, and the other fighters face off against each other in realistically choreographed fights, so realistic in fact that the fighters were actually hitting each other during filming.
Among the notable fights are a battle between Jackson and Sakuraba, which rematches/recreates their Pride 15 match, which was Jackson’s first in Pride back in 2001. Also rematched/recreated for the film was Frye and Takayama’s Pride 21 bout in which Frye brutalized the pro wrestler to one of the most gruesome beatdowns in Pride’s history.
It is not known if the film will find its way Stateside after its Japanese run or if it will be available on official DVD release as part of Pride’s freshly inked distribution deal. You can be sure however that the film will find its way eventually to import DVD specialists that are prevalent sites such as Ebay.
A flash teaser trailer, wallpaper, and cast photos can be found at the movie’s recently launched official site of www.nagurimono.com