The films are directed by Chatrichalerm Yukol and are a followup to his 2003 film, The Legend of Suriyothai.
The Legend of King Naresuan The Great, Part I, Hongsawadee's Hostage, was released on January 18, 2007.
The Legend of King Naresuan The Great, Part II, Reclaiming Sovereignty, was released on February 15, 2007.
The Legend of King Naresuan The Great, Part III was released on March 31, 2011. The films were released in the U.S.A. under the titles Kingdom of War.
Part I deals with Naresuan's boyhood, when he was taken hostage by Burmese King, Bayinnaung to keep the vassal Ayutthaya Kingdom subservient. During this time, he was a novice Buddhist monk under the tutelage of a wise father-figure monk (Sorapong Chatree). Part II depicts Naresuan as a young adult prince, already a formidable military strategist, as he leads his army on exploits against breakaway kingdoms for King Bayinnaung's successor, King Nonthabureng, and eventually breaks away to declare sovereignty for Siam. Part III was to depict Naresuan's military and leadership skills and the expansion of the Siamese kingdom.
In production for more than three years, the project has an estimated budget of 700 million baht, making it the most expensive Thai film made.
The film concerns the childhood of King Naresuan. Born in 1555, he was taken to Burma as a child hostage; there he became acquainted with sword fighting and became a threat to the Burmese empire
The film begins in 1564, during the Burmese siege of Phitsanulok, the center of the languishing Sukhothai kingdom. Naresuan's father, Maha Thammarachathirat, admits defeat and follows Burmese orders that his two sons, Naresuan (nicknamed Ong Dam Thai: องค์ดำ Black Prince) and Ekathotsarot (the White Prince), be taken hostage and be raised in Pegu (the center of the Hanthawadi kingdom) under the watchful eyes of Bayinnaung, the Burmese king, who promises to care for Naresuan like one of his own. This creates a rift between Naresuan's father and his mother, Queen Wisutkasat, whose brother is the king of the neighboring Ayutthaya kingdom, as Phitsanulok is now a Burmese vassal state. Ayutthaya falls soon after.
Immediately after entering the Burmese palace, Naresuan sees the palace politics and rivalries between himself and Bayinnaung's grandson, Mingyi Swa. Naresuan is sent to be educated as a novice monk, by an ethnic Mon Buddhist monk named Khanchong, at a Buddhist monastery outside the palace. There, while wandering the Thai village outside Pegu (made up of Thais displaced by Bayinnaung's expansionist campaigns and subsequent forced relocations to Hanthawadi), he befriends Bunthing, a Thai street child who is later allowed to work as a temple boy. He also befriends Maneechan, a temple girl at the monastery. The monk Khanchong, who had also trained Bayinnaung, teaches Naresuan the skills of war and ethics.
Bayinnaung dies in the beginning of the film from natural causes. Thammaracha, the governor-king of Ayutthaya, believes it is important that he go and pay respect to the dead king out of fear that the new Burmese king Nanda would deem it as an insult and attack Ayutthaya. Prince Naresuan, however, having been raised in Pegu (the kingdom of Hanthawadi) and who regards Bayinnaung as a second father, convinces Thammaracha to let him go in his place.
Upon arriving in Hanthawadi (Hongsawadi in Thai), Naresuan's childhood teacher, a Buddhist monk named Khan Chong, informs him about the dangers that king Nanda and many factions in Burma are plotting his assassination. At king Bayinnaung's funeral, all representatives from vassal kingdoms are present besides for one, the Krang kingdom. King Nanda sees it as disrespect and seizes the opportunity to wage war and siege the mountain top city. Naresuan's Ayutthaya army is successful in taking the mountain top city and proves itself superior to the rival Burmese armies, namely of the Lord of Pyay and of Mingyi Swa (the eldest son of Nandabayin). Burmese rivals felt even more threatened by the strength and wits of Naresuan's army. During the battle, Naresuan's friend, Bunthing, now a highly skilled general under Naresuan, falls for the princess of Krang, who becomes his companion.
A plot is uncovered by Naresuan's childhood friends, two Mon rulers, that the Burmese are in fact planning the assassination of Naresuan. Upon finding out, Naresuan executes the plotters and ceremoniously declares Ayutthaya free and sovereign from Hanthawadi. King Nanda and his Burmese are furious and begin a military campaign to capture and kill king Naresuan before his forces and liberated Siamese subjects can reach the Sittaung River. King Naresuan uses the strategy of a fighting retreat. His forces built a wooden bridge across the river and engage the pursuing Burmese army as they follow. Several battles took place during the crossing. However, as the Burmese forces catch up, the Siamese citizens and forces have already crossed to the other bank.
The Burmese, determined to defeat the Siamese, try to pursue Naresuan's forces by crossing the river. The king is then approached by his revered Buddhist teacher, Mon monk Khanchong. Here, he is given a special musket, which is capable of firing across the river. According to history, the movie portrays king Naresuan firing the musket across the Sittaung River, and with one strike, killing the general of the Burmese army. With the general dead, Burmese forces retreated back to Hanthawadi. King Naresuan and his now independent Siamese forces head back to Ayutthaya and the king declares ; "It's not over yet, there is more work for us to do!"
Part III: Naval Battle
In 1584 at Kraeng, King Naresuan continues the war for independence of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya (Thai : อาณาจักรอยุธยา). The war began because King Nandabayin king of the Burmese Kingdom(Thai : อาณาจักรพม่า)had secretly determined to fight a war by sending two armies to attack King Naresuan. The first army is that of Lord Pathein which passes through the Three Pagodas Pass(Thai: ด่านเจดีย์สามองค์). The second army is that of the King Noratra Mangsosri (Thai : นรธาเมงสอ) of Lanna (Chiangmai) which attacks from the north of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. The Lanna army halts and builds a camp at BanSraKet (Thai : บ้านสระเกศ). While two armies are preparing for continuing the war with Ayutthaya, the King of Loverk (Thai : ละแวก) sends Lord Jinjantu(Thai : จินจันตุ), a Chinese official, to spy in Ayutthaya, but a short time later, he heads back to Lovek because king Naresuan knows that he is a spy. After an intense river battle between Jinjantu's Chinese troops and the Siamese gunboats under Naresuan's personal command, he is able to escape.
When the King of Lovek learns about the skills and abilities of Naresuan, he decides to make an alliance with Ayutthaya by sending his reluctant brother, Prince Srisuphanrachathirat (Thai: พระศรีสุพรรณราชาธิราช) to help Ayutthaya fight against Hanthawadi(Thai : หงสาวดี). While Naresuan prepares for the war, he realizes that the soldiers in the army of Ayutthaya are outnumbered by the two armies of Burma, so he decides to fight with each army separately before the two armies come together. First he fights with army of Lord Pathein west of Ayutthaya and he wins this first battle. Then he fights with the army north of Ayutthaya. After a hard fought battle, King Naresun defeats the army of King Noratra Mangsosri of Lanna (Chiangmai). After King Nandabayin finish war with Inn wa (Thai : อังวะ), he back to war with Ayuthaya. Finally,King Naresuan can keep independent of Ayuthaya.
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The Legend of King Naresuan Part V:Elephant Battle  Main article: The Legend of King Naresuan Part 5 Elephant Battle.
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The end of Hongsa [Edit] Main article: King Naresuan the end of Hong Sa.
The king receives news that the Burmese king Nanda Bayin, enraged over the loss of his son, had ordered the deaths of most of the military leaders in his Army, on the grounds that they had 'let his son die'. There was also news that, in his rage, Nanda Bayin had also killed off Suphankalaya, Naresuan's older sister. This angers the King, and he quickly announces his intention to gather an army, capture Pegu, and burn it to the ground as revenge.Wanchana Sawatdee as King Naresuan
Pratcha Sananvatananont as Prince Naresuan (youth)
Napatkorn Mitr-em as Crown Prince Minchit Sra
Nopachai Jayanama as Rachamanu (Bunting)
Taksaorn Paksukcharern as Manechan
Chatchai Plengpanich as King Thamaracha
Grace Mahadumrongkul as Princess Supankulayanee
Intira Jaroenpura as Lurkin
Sompob Benjatikul as King Bayinnaung
Jakkrit Amarat as Nanda Bayin
Sorapong Chatree as Mahathera Khanchong
Santisuk Promsiri as King Mahinthrathirat
Saranyu Wongkrajang as King Chakrapadi
Winthai Suvaree as Prince Ekathotsarot
Jirayu La-ongmanee as Bunting (youth)
Suchada Chekly as Manechan (youth)
Manop Aswathep as Lord Sawankhalok
Krung Sriwilai as Lord Phichai
Chumphorn Thepphithak as King of Kung
Production on The Legend of King Naresuan began in 2003 on a purpose-built set in Kanchanaburi Province.
Looking for advice on costuming and special effects, Chatrichalerm had met in Bangkok with director Baz Luhrmann, who advised the Thai director to get in contact with Peter Jackson and observe him making King Kong. Through Jackson, Chatrichalerm met with people from the Weta Workshop and worked out a trade of knowledge, in which the New Zealand effects artists would share techniques for making light armor while learning from Thai craftsmen about gold jewellery making. New tools and equipment have been made, the production crew were sent to training abroad, and the experts in the industry from such movies as “Troy,” “The Lord of the Rings,” and “Anaconda” have been working as the consultants and supervisors of the production of “Naresuan.” The experts have tremendously conveyed various techniques in movie making and assisted in training to equip the Thai crew members with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce quality movies and to enable them to develop to their fullest potential to raise the status of the film industry in Thailand to be equal to leading film industries in the western world in the near future.
Based on the film website, the location covers the area of approximately 2,000 rai in the compound of Surasee Military Base in Kanchanaburi Province to be in compliance with the historical records specifying that various major incidents in the life of King Naresuan took place in this province. In addition to historical significance, the location is appropriate and the production has received tremendous support from the Royal Thai Army, providing access to the location, manpower, as well as equipment and tools necessary for the completion of the construction of the sound stages.
Actor Wanchana Sawatdee, in his feature film debut as Naresuan, is a cavalry officer in the Royal Thai Army with the rank of captain. Chatrichalerm said he cast a newcomer in the role "to avoid any possible negative image."
"The king is also a brave warrior, so Captain Wanchana, a professional cavalry soldier with a macho look, was a perfect fit for the character."
Grace Mahadumrongkul, who portrays Naresuan's sister, Supankulayanee, was cast in the role in 2006. Previously, she was a presenter on Thai television Channel 5.
Other roles include King Bayinnaung, who is portrayed by Sompop Benjatikul, and the Buddhist monk, Mahathera Khanchong, portrayed by Sorapong Chatree. Both are veteran actors who have worked with Chatrichalerm before.
King Naresuan Part I: Hongsawadee's Hostage, grossed more than 100 million baht on its opening weekend, despite some production problems with the film. After a world premiere screening on January 16, director Chatrichalerm Yukol continued to edit the film. On opening day, January 18, 2007, prints of the film were still not ready for wide distribution, and were delivered late in the day in Bangkok cinemas and screenings were canceled in the provinces.
Part I received mixed reviews in the local media. The Bangkok Post said the film was "torn between the need to be a serious historical movie and popular entertainment for the masses." But The Nation called it "a beautiful movie, planned to meticulous detail with the exotic designs and colors of the royal dresses, golden palaces and exotic temples." The Nation also hosted a forum for readers to comment on the film.
King Naresuan Part II: Reclamation of Sovereignty, premiered in a wide theatrical release in Thailand on February 15, 2007. The #1 film at the Thailand box office for several weeks, it earned US$7 million.
Critical reception was more favorable than the first installment. Kong Rithdee of the Bangkok Post said: "Surprise, surprise: Naresuan II is good fun. The pacing crisp, the acting passionate, the warfare intense."
Jeerawat Na Talang, columnist for The Nation, wrote on her blog: "This is simply the best Thai film I have seen in years ... Compared to the first one, the sequel is better such as in terms of cast and editing."
Submitted as King of Fire, Part II was Thailand's entry to the 80th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.
Part II was also the opening film at the 2007 Cinemanila International Film Festival, and both films were screened out of competition in the Thai Panorama section of the 2007 Bangkok International Film Festival.
On 9 January 2017,Mono 29 is have television series, titled King Naresuan The series, was broadcast on Mono 29 in Thailand. This series haveChalermchatri Yukol was director. The television series had a storyline that isn't more different from the film.