Now now, get this. Some have different opinions about live action adaptations of fighting games, and video game creator Katsuhiro Harada’s popular Namco/Bandai franchise, Tekken, is no stranger to the mix of optimism and ire of fans far and wide. The first film, starring Jon Foo, was filmed in 2008 before taking three years to finally release on US DVD and Blu-Ray, and while the film proved to be a decent tournament movie with plenty of fighting and a talented line-up of martial artists, the film could have been done better in many ways, particularly for a proper reboot. I made this case in a rant back in 2013 and I still stand by that, even after Crystal Sky’s own Steven Paul went on record to state that the film would move on with a prequel with a cast that would resemble the characters from the game (look how that turned out). No, I haven’t seen it yet, and nor will I torrent it as I’m against piracy, but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to at least rent it for a more informed opinion. Hell, I might as well, and why is that?
Well, Paul is back at it again, announcing another remake of the long-running fighting game, according to a new article at Variety. The film is part of a new ménage à trois of film financing between Chinese platform Financing City Network, Paul’s Crystal Sky affiliate, SP International Pictures, and East & West Culture Media Company with a slate of ten Chinese and U.S. movies with combined budgets of up to $300 million dollars. FCN is ponying up 70% of the budget on each China co-production where SP International and East & West Culture Media Company will provide the remainder as lead producers. As such, FCN will also bring up to 90% on all remakes of U.S. properties brought by SPIP / East & West. Such may be the case for the new Tekken remake which Paul’s company will distribute in North American theaters; the deal also includes some theatrical and home distribution handling via Sony as well.
So, there you have it. A new Tekken remake is coming. Not a third, but a remake. Still, it makes wondering if anyone of us should care since both films have otherwise failed to authentically deliver a proper cinematic translation with respect to the game. We have seen some great improvements with other comic book and game properties like Steven DeKnight’s Daredevil, Warner Bros.’s serial web airing of Mortal Kombat Legacy and ESPECIALLY, Joey Ansah’s masterful application of Capcom’s Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, to name a few, and all among these are telling signs that there could be a much-needed wave of improvement coming when it comes to properly transferring these properties to film. However, we’ve heard the promises before, and the arguments for better treatment of these properties on film can never be made enough, even as the movies themselves haven’t been released (just look at how fans eviscerated Jon M. Chu’s retelling of Jem And The Holograms).
I think I’ve made my point.
So, we’re two movies in now, and I’ve been dying for a proper retelling of the Tekken game franchise via live action film that it pains me to see it so underhanded, and eventually we’ll see if a third time’s a charm. Maybe, maybe not…whatever. I just hope the right cast and crew are brought on board to help control where this movie needs to go, and if Harada-san gets to be a lead creative consultant on this with some authority, it would undoubtedly make things a whole lot better. Other than that, it’s been thirteen years since Paul acquired the rights to this game franchise to turn it into a workable movie. If they can’t get it right this time, perhaps it’s best to change hands. Time will tell.
For better or worse, stay tuned for more news to come.
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