Gematsu is reporting that Sega has engaged 1212 Entertainment and Wild Sheep Content to create a live-action Yakuza movie. This report is sourced from Variety who has also confirmed that Erik Barmack, Roberto Grande, and Joshua Long will produce the movie. In case you are an expert in screenwriting, they are looking for a writer, so polish that resume. It may be a longshot, but what you do have to lose?
1212 made a statement about why the Yakuza universe is perfect for a live-action adaptation by saying:
“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. 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.”
The Yakuza games are fairly cinematic in their approach to storytelling and setting that story on a foundation of strong characters. The background of the Japanese criminal underground with its many gangs and strong traditions would be great material for a movie. I do wonder if they can keep the funny moments and quirky characters. Beyond that, games to movies haven’t always been a positive transition, but we’ll probably be waiting a few years for the finished film.
The only thing I know for certain is that a wacky and deadly Goro Majima is the role of a lifetime, and they had better not mess him up.
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Jason became terminally addicted to videogames after receiving the NES at an early age. This addiction grew to include PC gaming and was cemented with the launch of the PS2. From then on, he was afflicted with epic RPGs, tense shooters, and deep strategy games, never becoming skillful, but never able to quit. He continues to play games (poorly) and share his passion for them to anyone willing to listen.