Streets of Rage Movie from John Wick Creator Lands at Lionsgate

The Streets of Rage movie is moving forward after finding its studio. Back in April, we reported that a feature film based on the video game series of the same name was in the works with a screenplay written by Derek Kolstad, creator of the John Wick franchise. Now, Variety reports that Lionsgate has acquired the rights to the film, looking to give Streets of Rage a theatrical release. Kolstad is also on board to produce the movie, and as he notes in a statement, the project is a dream come true for the lifelong gamer.

Referring to fellow producer Dmitri M. Johnson, Kolstad said, “When Dmitri first mentioned the idea of cracking a Streets of Rage movie, I was so immediately freaking in. And to play with SEGA? The 10-year-old me is still grinning.”

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No director or cast members have yet been announced for the film. Alongside Kolstad, Johnson is producing for dj2 Entertainment with Timothy I. Stevenson and Dan Jevons, as well as Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Tony Shaw of Escape Artists. SEGA’s Toru Nakahara, who also served as a producer on the successful Sonic the Hedgehog films, is another producer Streets of Rage.

The Streets of Rage games were in the style of classic side-scrolling “beat ’em up” titles made popular in the early 1990s. Published by Sega for the Sega Genesis video game console, the series began with the first Streets of Rage in 1991. The game follows three playable characters (former cops Axel, Blaze, and Adam) as they pummel their way through a henchman-filled city to thwart the sinister plans of an evil mastermind known as Mr. X. Two sequels followed in 1992 and 1994 before Streets of Rage 4 revived the franchise with its release on modern consoles in 2020; it has since sold more than 2.5 million copies.

Streets of Rage is One of Many Upcoming Video Game Adaptations

Lionsgate is also behind the upcoming Borderlands adaptation based on the video game of the same name. That film features an all-star cast including Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Jamie Lee Curtis. It’s directed by Eli Roth who co-wrote the screenplay with Craig Mazin.

And they’re just among the money studios pursuing video game movies these days. We can thank the success of films like Detective Pikachu and the Sonic the Hedgehog films for this surge of new adaptations. Another big one is coming out in April, which is the animated Super Mario Bros. Movie. If that film is a hit, as the 1993 version was not, then we could end up seeing more Nintendo titles getting movie and TV series adaptations as well.

Other adaptations that are in development include movies based on Minecraft, BioShock, Gears of War, Metal Gear Solid, and Five Nights at Freddy’s, among others.. There are also shows based on games in the works as well, such as Twisted Metal at Peacock and The Last of Us at HBO.