Sega is officially developing a live-action movie adaptation of its bestselling Yakuza video game franchise with production companies 1212 Entertainment and Wild Sheep Content. According to Variety, which first revealed the adaptation, Erik Barmack, Roberto Grande, and Joshua Long will produce, but writers have not yet been added to the project. The video game series largely focuses on the story of yakuza Kazuma Kiryu and the many characters and places he comes into contact with through the course of his duties.
"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,” 1212 Entertainment told Variety. “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."
This, of course, follows on the successful heels of Sega's live-action adaptation of its Sonic the Hedgehog franchise earlier this year. The Sonic the Hedgehog film stars Ben Schwartz as the voice of the eponymous hedgehog, James Marsden as Tom Wachowski, a police officer that befriends Sonic, and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, the franchise's classic villain and scientist. A sequel has already been announced for release in 2022.
At this point, there is no telling when exactly the Yakuza movie might release. "In development" could put it anywhere from a couple of years to half a decade out, especially with the current state of production given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest and greatest title in the franchise, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, is set to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 13th as well as the Xbox Series X/S on November 10th. It will be available on the PlayStation 5 at a later date. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the upcoming Yakuza video game right here.
What do you think of the news that a Yakuza movie is in development? Are you a fan of the video game franchise? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!