We are truly in the midst of a new golden era of videogame adaptation movies right now, with Sonic 2 making bank at the box office and a slew of new films being greenlit. Jason Momoa is starring in a Minecraft movie, Ghost of Tsushima is getting adapted, but what’s really caught our eye this morning is an adaptation of 1990s SEGA Genesis classic beat ‘em up series Streets of Rage, with a script written by John Wick series creator and scribe Derek Kolstad.
Kolstad created the character of super assassin John Wick and has written all the entries in that series to date, in addition to writing last year’s Bob Odenkirk actioner Nobody. His script for Streets of Rage, meanwhile, adapts the limited story of the classic SEGA series, which sees a group of disgraced former police officers battling their way across a crime-infested city, beating the tar out of thugs as they ascend to take down a deadly crime boss. Which is to say, extremely generic crime/action movie plot points, but in videogame form they came packaged with tight fighting controls and a legendarily catchy soundtrack of EDM-inspired dance music. Here’s hoping those tracks may their way into the eventual film.
Who would direct a Streets of Rage movie, though? Kolstad’s frequent collaborator Chad Stahelski, who has directed all the John Wick entries, seems like a good candidate, but he’s shepherding the previously mentioned Ghost of Tsushima movie and might thus be unavailable. If we could choose our dream director for Streets of Rage, though? It would likely be The Raid’s Gareth Evans, considering that Evans’ seminal Indonesian action movie already has a very videogame-like structure. He’s one guy who could absolutely bring the bone-crunching action you want from a feature-length beat ‘em up adaptation. Failing that, maybe Timo Tjahjanto of The Night Comes For Us would be interested in taking a crack at this?
The Streets of Rage film will be produced by Sonic’s dj2 Entertainment, along with Escape Artists. We’ll leave you now in the only way that seems fitting: With a Streets of Rage 2 soundtrack banger. In the meantime, if you’re feeling nostalgic for Streets of Rage, you can check out the long-awaited follow up Streets of Rage 4, which was finally released in 2020.