Video game adaptations are having a bit of a moment with HBO‘s series The Last of Us doing extremely well and now heading into a second season. One video game property that is about to launch a brand new installment, Street Fighter, is getting brand new live-action projects. The Hollywood Reporter is revealing that Legendary has secured the rights to Street Fighter from publisher/owner Capcom to make live-action films and a television series with game company co-producing those future projects. Although, no creatives are named in the report or who is expected to direct the new movie.
Street Fighter first released back in 1987, but it wasn’t until it’s sequel, Street Fighter II and subsequent versions/sequels that the fevered fandom was created leading to a multitude of crossovers and merch. A tournament-based fighting game (less violent most competitors) that focuses on a global group of fighters that are sort either cohorts of heroic Japanese protagonist Ryu or the evil minions of M. Bison. The game was so popular it helped developers get backing for other arcade fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Tekken.
In 1994, the first live-action film “loosely” based on the game was released with a cast that consisted of Jean-Claude Van Damme as “American” soldier Guile, the late Raul Julia as the villainous dictator M. Bison, Ming-Na Wen as Chun-Li, Bryon Mann as Ryu, and Aussie pop-star Kylie Minogue as Cammy. While many fans have since embraced the campy nature of the production, it hardly had anything to do with the video game and felt more like it was trying copy the hit Hong Kong film Supercop that starred Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh, but turning it into a kid-friendly version. That same year, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie was released in Japan but the anime took a darker R-rated tone than it’s live-action counterpart with violence/nudity and is considered the better of the two films. North America eventually got a PG-13 cut of the anime on home video in 1995.
To speak towards the game’s massive popularity in the 1990s, the year before the film’s release the characters showed up in the Jackie Chan film City Hunter with the actor portraying various characters including dressing in drag to play Chun-Li.
The less said of the 20th Century film Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li from 2009 the better.
Legendary was behind the live-action Detective Pikachu movie and certainly did the Nintendo franchise justice as a sequel is in the works. So, after Capcom’s Hollywood experience with the Resident Evil franchise and the recent Monster Hunter film, you can’t really blame them to court a studio like Legendary behind bigger things. Other Legendary IP projects on the horizon include Dune: Part Two, a sequel to Godzilla vs Kong, Detective Pikachu 2, Gundam, Duke Nukem, The Toxic Avenger, HBO Max’s Dune: The Sisterhood, a Sin City series, and the Apple’ series Godzilla & The Titans.