Fifteen years since launching into video game franchise fruition prior to a 2007 live-action take from Takashi Miike, fans of the Ryu Ga Gotoku (Like A Dragon) franchise are officially on deck to a new feature film offering, according to Variety’s Dave McNary.
Sega's SHINOBI, STREETS OF RAGE Named Among Others To Be Adapted For Live-Action Production And Animation
It’s been nearly thirty years since many of us played with a Sega Genesis and spent much of my youth in the late 80’s in front of Altered Beast. I used to get on my mother’s nerves with it back then…fun times! Nowadays, I’ve pretty much distanced myself from gaming culture, but always kept up with movies, and with the successes of films like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat at the time, I often wondered when we would see some of these other properties granted the same treatment.
Well, evidently it was only a matter of time following a 2011 press release announcing the launch of Stories International, a joint venture between Sega and advertising Hakuhodo DY Group dedicated to producing various games, comic books and novels for television and film through live action and animation with Hollywood backing. A more recent hint of Sega’s activity came back in June when news broke that one of Sega’s most popular franchises, Sonic The Hedgehog was finally going to be developed as a live-action hybrid feature for Sony Pictures.
Clearly it seemed imminent for those who have been in the know in the last three years that Sega was taking things up a notch, and I suppose the only question left would “When?”. Well, we now have an answer for that question as of this week with news former Break Media executive Evan Cholfin will be spearheading efforts at Stories International with president and CEO Suzuki Tomoya to help transition a vast list of Sega games to English-language production. So far, the titles named in the report alongside Altered Beast include the 1991 Beat ‘Em Up actioner, Streets of Rage, the 1988 hack-and-slash thriller, Shinobi, the 2011 survival horror, Rise of Nightmares and the 1999 racing game Crazy Taxi, with mentions of the 1993 3D tournament game Virtua Fighter and Golden Axe are also named in the report. Moreover, Sega has also concluded a minority investment deal with All Nippon Entertainment Works in order to help Stories International in its agenda by acquiring access to twenty Japanese rights holders for the production of mangas, TV shows, toys and comics to the screen as well.
Obviously some of the titles listed above are certainly worth taking interest in, especially Streets Of Rage and Shinobi, and even moreso with Virtua Fighter to see how it will compare with other live-action tournament adaptations as of recent. But since Sega’s entire library is now fair game, perhaps we can finally add Battletoads, Contra, Cutie Suzuki, Double Dragon, Fatal Fury, an upgraded reboot of the 1994 film, Double Dragon, and maybe even Last Battle for a more grand approach to a hopeful theatrical production of Fist Of The North Star, the latter which always fascinated me with the hopes that Kane Kosugi would be picked. I can never get over that, but that’s just me.
At any rate, look for more video game movie news in the years to come. I know I’m curious!
Anyone here grow up playing Sonic The Hedgehog on SEGA back in the 1990’s? I did, and loved every minute of my childhood because of it. As for the animated television shows that were popular at the time, I wasn’t too keen on those. But, I was always curious as to what a live-action project would look like.
I suppose that would take a bit more effort than an animation would, which is..well.. sort of the route that Sony Pictures seems to be going with its latest press release announcing the development of a feature film.
Check out the info below, and expect some casting surprises in the coming months!
CULVER CITY, Calif., June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marza Animation Planet, a CG animation film production company of the SEGA SAMMY Group, today announced a partnership to develop a film based on the acclaimed Sonic the Hedgehog video game series. A hybrid CG-animated/live-action feature, the movie will be written by Evan Susser and Van Robichaux and produced by Neal H. Moritz through his Original Film banner, along with Marza’s Takeshi Ito and Mie Onishi. Toby Ascher will serve as an executive producer
The film will look to capture Sonic’s irreverent tone and spirit, reuniting him with some of the most revered and infamous characters of the franchise, including the evil Dr. Eggman. Playful, mischievous, and quick on his feet in more ways than one, the world’s fastest hedgehog is known for his ability to move at supersonic speed to protect his friends from their enemies. For more than two decades, Sonic has been one of the world’s biggest gaming icons and a $1 billion franchise with more than 140 million games sold
Commenting on the announcement, Hannah Minghella, Columbia Pictures’ president of Production said, “There are limitless stories to tell with a character like Sonic the Hedgehog, and a built-in international fan base. Along with our wonderful creative partners at Marza, we’re looking to capture everything that generations of fans know and love about Sonic while also growing his audience wider than ever before.”
Marza Animation Planet CEO Masanao Maeda added, “Sonic has had dozens of adventures on the console and the small screen, and we’re thrilled that he’s now coming to the big screen. Sony Pictures has had great success with hybrid animated and live-action features, and we’re confident that this collaboration will bring a fresh take to Sonic, while still capturing everything that the fans love about him.”
Marza is a leading CG animation production company with the vision to create films to the global market from Japan, by combining global storytelling and Japanese creativity. It plans to release one feature-length film each year.
Hannah Minghella and Andrea Giannetti will oversee for Sony Pictures Entertainment.