After decades of stinking up theaters around the world, video game movies are suddenly a hot commodity again. Two of the top five movies of 2022 so far — Uncharted and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 — are based on games, and studios are lining up so turn more proven gaming properties into films. The latest is Streets of Rage, the long-running side-scrolling beat-’em-up series that debuted in 1991 on the Sega Genesis.

The games are all in the mold of Final Fight or Double Dragon, with one or two players working together to take back a city from a seemingly endless wave of criminal gangsters. Two sequels followed on Genesis, and after a long period of inactivity, the franchise was successfully relaunched in 2021 with Streets of Rage 4 for modern consoles.

With that renewed interest, Sega is now working on a Streets of Rage movie. Deadline reports that Derek Kolstad, the writer of John Wick and Nobody, has written a script for the film. That guy can write action and since Streets of Rage is a game that is literally all action — you just keep walking right forever, beating people up for hours on end — it feels like a good match of material and writer.

There’s another reason to hope Streets of Rage could be great. As true hardcore fans know, the original box art for Streets of Rage was shamelessly ripped from from the poster for the greatest martial arts movie in history: 1985’s Gymkata, about the adventures of an Olympic gymnast turned spy for the U.S. Government.

Sega/Warner Bros.
Sega/Warner Bros.

Streets of Rage is good, but if it’s secretly an adaptation of Gymkata, then it stands a very good chance to be a true masterpiece.

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