Streets of Rage Movie Picked Up by Major Studio

The upcoming Streets of Rage movie has found a home at Lionsgate. Derek Kolstad is writing the screenplay for the adaptation of the hit Sega video game series from the 1990s. Kolstad will also produce alongside Sega's Toru Nakahara, dj2 Entertainment's Dmitri M. Johnson, Timothy I. Stevenson, and Dan Jevons, and Escape Artists Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Tony Shaw. Sega's move to option Streets of Rage comes off of the success of two Paramount Pictures films adapting its beloved mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, for the big screen. Streets of Rage has a much different tone than the cartoonish adventures of Sonic, with the original "beat 'em up" games drawing inspiration from the gritty action movies of the 1980s and early '90s.

 "When Dmitri first mentioned the idea of cracking a Streets of Rage movie, I was so immediately freaking in," Kolstad says. "And to play with Sega? The ten year-old me is still grinning." Erin Westerman, President of Production, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, added, "The game has a rich world and narrative and we're thrilled to be reuniting with Derek to bring it to life."

Toru Nakahara, who produced Sonic the Hedgehog 1 & 2 and is an executive producer on the upcoming Netflix animated series Sonic Prime, says, "Lionsgate is one of the most dynamic studios in the entertainment industry today. We look forward to working with them, Derek, and our all-star producers to bring this compelling IP to life."

Johnson added, "I've wanted to make a Streets of Rage film since I was twelve years old. This has shaped up to become a 'dream project' alongside a 'dream team'."

Streets of Rage was a significant franchise for Sega in the 1990s, bringing the thrill of arcade action games to the Sega Genesis home console. Three Streets of Rage games appeared on the console between 1991 and 1994. The story begun in the original game saw three young ex-police officers -- Axel, Blaze, and Adam -- battling in the streets of Wood Oak City against the villainous crime lord Mr. X. The sequels continued that story, introducing new characters such as "Skate" Hunter and Max Thunder along the way. The games became known for their cooperative, action-packed gameplay and the music composed by Yuzo Koshiro, widely regarded as among the best video game soundtracks ever and ahead of their time. Lizardcube, Guard Crush Games, and Dotemu teamed up to revive the series, under license from Sega and released Streets of Rage 4 in 2020 to critical acclaim and strong sales

Brady Fujikawa and Jon Humphrey will oversee the Street of Rage movie's development for Lionsgate. Shuji Utsumi and Toru Nakahara will oversee on behalf of Sega, with Dmitri M. Johnson overseeing dj2 Entertainment, and Tony Shaw for Escape Artists.