Mobster Asiong Salonga (ER Ejercito) rules the mean streets of Manila with an iron fist—until he is betrayed by a trusted friend. Manila Kingpin is based on the story of the notorious Tondo, Manila, gang leader Nicasio “Asiong” Salonga, whose true-to-life accounts had been portrayed in several movie versions since 1961 (starring Joseph Estrada). It is also the first Filipino major film produced in black-and-white in the 21st century as well as the returning action genre movie. Before the film was shown, Tikoy Aguiluz requested the producers, through his lawyers, that his directorial credits in the film and promotional tools be removed because the final version of the film can no longer be described as his after the producers made a reedit, re-shoot and music mixing without his involvement. He also demanded that he be allowed to make a director's cut of the film.