According to Deadline, a film based on the popular Streets of Rage video game franchise is in the works. The story was supposedly written on spec (without a studio agreement) by John Wick creator Derek Kolstad, and the adaptation will be produced by the same firm that brought us the Sonic the Hedgehog movies. According to Deadline, Escape Artists, the company behind The Equalizer franchise, is also on board to produce the picture.
Streets of Rage was initially released in 1991 for the SEGA Genesis, followed by Streets of Rage 2 and 3 in 1992 and 1994, respectively. You play as badass vigilantes who pound the snot out of villains that pollute the city’s streets in each round. In 2020, 26 years after the third game, the fourth iteration of the side-scrolling beat-’em-up was released. It still manages to retain the same vintage vibe as the original three of games, as my colleague Andrew Webster points out in his review, and I suppose this is how the current cinematic adaptation of the series would look like.
I’m usually skeptical of game-to-movie adaptations, but Kolstad seems like the proper person to bring a beat-’em-up to the big screen. If his work on the highly violent John Wick and Nobody is any indication of what’s to come, I’m hoping for a similarly action-packed and entertaining adaptation.
With the release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 earlier this month and a contract to adapt the famous indie title It Takes Two for cinema and television, dj2 Entertainment is on a roll with video game adaptations. It’s also working on Tomb Raider, Disco Elysium, and Life Is Strange-related projects. Kolstad has been recruited to work on the live-action adaptations of Splinter Cell, Hitman, and Just Cause, among other video game adaptations.