How often have you played a SEGA game and asked yourself, “why isn’t this a movie?” Growing up with SEGA, I would ask that question constantly. To be completely honest, I’ve never stopped asking that question. Playing games like After Burner, Streets of Rage and Sonic The Hedgehog, I always felt they would make awesome movies. Well, that childhood dream may very well be coming true. Late last year, Variety reported that SEGA had hired former Break Media executive Evan Cholfin, collaborating with Stories International, to aid them in adapting some of their classic franchises into other forms of entertainment.
That’s right, SEGA fans! We’re talking about movies and television. The franchises mentioned include Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Shinobi and Crazy Taxi. You know, just to name a few. This is something I’ve been fantasizing about since I was 10-years old. It’s surreal to think that it may finally come to pass.
Here’s a few SEGA properties I’d like to see on the big screen, and who I would like to see in the roles. Seeing as how I’m a director whore, I’ll even include my choice of filmmaker.
The House of the Dead
“Dream” Cast: James McAvoy (Thomas Rogan), Jude Law (G), Anne Hathaway (Sophie Richards) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Curien).
Director: Zack Snyder
Yes, this is a pipe-dream, but why the Hell not? Zack Snyder’s last two features may have left me cold (Sucker Punch, Man of Steel), but the man is an incredible visualist and tends to pay great respect to source material, as demonstrated with 300 and Watchmen. On top of that, he’s dealt with zombies before (Dawn of the Dead) and quite effectively I might add. Supported by an awesome cast and a well-written script that wouldn’t stray far from the first game’s plot, this could be a great fucking movie.
In addition, I’m sure Snyder would do away with the tired “grindhouse” gimmick The House of the Dead: Overkill embraced and create a slick, dark world in the vein of Se7en, which was an inspiration for the original.
The first act would center around building the relationship between Rogan and G, having them bring a serial killer to justice after an intense foot chase. This would make for an exciting introduction for our protagonists and establish their friendship, as well as their prowess as men-of-action.
Shortly thereafter, Rogan meets up with his fiance, Sophie, at a fundraiser held by her employer, Dr. Curien, at his mansion. She would introduce Rogan to Curien, having them meet for the first time. Dr. Curien, being somewhat vein, shares his genius with Rogan only for G to interject, talking about the danger of genius and how it has led to some astonishing catastrophies. Dr. Curien openly admires G’s skepticism and returns to his guests. Sophie then sends Rogan and G on their way and hurries back to work.
Later that evening, long after the champagne has dried up, Sophie accidently witnesses one of Dr. Curien’s undead experiments go awry, resulting in the death of several scientists. She tries to run and calls Rogan, but is interrupted by Curien. Curien actually speaks to Rogan, taunting him. He realizes she can ruin his plans and that Rogan’s on the move. That is when Curien unleashes the walking dead and his many experiements in an attempt to stop the inevitable. From this point forward, it’s non-stop action and suspense as Rogan and G fight their way through the house of the dead…
That was the movie I wanted. Instead, we got a shitty, no-budget bore-fest that did nothing more than spit on the franchise that allegedly inspired it. Such a wasted opportunity. Even if we lost the “dream” cast of actors I suggested and the director, I think it would still make for a dark, thrilling zombie romp.
Now, my second choice….
Streets of Rage
“Dream” Cast: Jason David Frank (Axel Stone), Michael Jai White (Adam Hunter) and Patricia Velasquez (Blaze Fielding).
Director: Walter Hill
One may find my casting choices odd. You may be thinking, “The Green Ranger as Axel Stone?! Since when is Blaze Fielding from Venezuela?! Aren’t they all too old?” Vice cops tend to be in their mid-to-late thirties, true, but these actors can easily pull it off for they have all aged incredibly well and are physically capable. Jason David Frank is an accomplished MMA fighter, and Patricia Velasquez is no stranger to demanding action sequences thanks to her time spent on The Mummy Returns (2001). Michael Jai White is, well, he’s Michael Jai White. This man is beyond qualified. Just watch Blood and Bone (2009) and you’ll see why.
“Did you say vice cops?” Yes, of course. They’d have to be. Vice officers often investigate crimes related to illegal drugs, gambling, prostitution, etc. That sounds like Mr. X to me. Besides, confidence, determination and the ability to easily fade into almost any background is a required skill set for any successful vice officer.
That actually plays very well into the first act of my “dream” movie. An epic sting operation headed by our heroic trio. I’m talkin’ squad cars, shootings, explosions, beat downs, the works. After five years spent building a compelling case against Mr. X, culminating in a Blitzkrieg-style raid, falls apart before their very eyes thanks to Mr. X’s deep pockets and political connections. As retribution, Mr. X has his trusted right-hand man torch the arresting officers homes and brutalize their families. Adam, Alex and Blaze, betrayed by the law they’ve sworn to uphold, go “off-the-books” in a desperate attempt to bring this horrible syndicate down.
Walter Hill has dealt with this sort of subject matter before and knows how to capture a gritty city street, which he’s shown on countless occasions in films like The Driver (1978), The Warriors (1979), 48 Hours (1982), Streets of Fire (1984) and Trespass (1992). All these films deal with crime, action and good old fashioned street justice. If there’s one filmmaker that can do this series justice, it’s Walter Hill.
Those are only my top choices. I would love to see films based on Panzer Dragoon, After Burner, Shinobi and – of course – Shenmue. However, I feel this would be a solid start for SEGA. What would you like to see on the big screen? Would you go live action or animated? Who would you cast? Share. Debate. Create!Ad: