Sega is turning another one of its video game franchises into a movie. It has been revealed that the company is making a Yakuza movie based on the video game series of the same name. This comes on the heels of Sonic the Hedgehog, which was released earlier this year and went on to become a huge hit. It appears that encouraged Sega to look at its library and see what other titles might justify cinematic adaptations.
According to a new report, Sega has partnered with 1212 Entertainment and Wild Sheep Content for the Yakuza movie. Erik Barmack, Roberto Grande and Joshua Long are set to produce the adaptation. The search is currently underway for someone to pen the script. There is no word yet on who might be eyed to direct. 1212 had this to say about it in a statement.
"Yakuza offers us a new playground in which to set compelling stories with complex characters in a unique environment that audiences have rarely seen before. The saga of Kazuma Kiryu has a built-in cinematic appeal - a mix of kinetic action with bursts of comedy, multiple converging storylines, and a gripping journey towards redemption."
Yakuza is one of Sega's most successful video game franchises. It originally launched in 2005 as a title for the PlayStation 2. In the first game, players are introduced to the Dragon of Dojima, Kazuma Kiryu. The up-and-coming yakuza takes the fall for the murder of a crime boss and emerges from prison ten years later to a changed world. He must unravel a complex web of truth and lies as he and a young girl named Haruka are caught in the power struggles of the criminal organization. Erik Barmack had this to say.
"With our background in telling global stories, we are excited to bring this huge project to global platforms."
The game's success spawned a series of sequels and spin-offs. In total, there are eight main Yakuza games and eight spin-offs. That will give the companies, and whatever filmmakers eventually board the project, plenty of source material to draw from. This comes at a time when Hollywood has finally managed to produce video game adaptations that can cross over into mainstream hits. Aside from the Resident Evil franchise, this is something that had largely eluded studios for years. But the success of movies like Detective Pikachu, Rampage and, most importantly in this case, Sonic the Hedgehog, have turned the tide.
Released in theaters before the shutdown earlier this year, Sonic the Hedgehog earned a solid response from critics and moviegoers on its way to more than $300 million at the global box office. And it likely would have made more had theaters not been forced to close their doors around the world. A sequel is already in development with the original cast and filmmaking team returning. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Variety.