Hold onto your crowbars, folks. Derek Kolstad, creator of the John Wick franchise, is using his all-action expertise to bring about a videogame adaptation of ’90s classic Streets of Rage.
The hugely popular side-scrolling beat ’em up is the latest in a long line of videogames being reworked for the big screen. Following the success of recent Sonic movies, producers dj2 Entertainment and Escape Artists are keen to keep the ball rolling and Kolstad appears to have been given free reign.
According to a report by Deadline, the 48-year-old director was given license to write the Streets of Rage script on-spec, meaning no outside interference from the studio.
For those young’uns wondering what all the fuss is about, Streets of Rage exploded onto Sega Mega Drive/Genesis back in 1991. Players could choose the role of Adam, Axel or Blaze, and were tasked with traversing long side-scrolling levels while kicking, punching and back-slamming their way through hundreds of bad guys.
Sequels followed in 1992 and 1994, and after a prolonged hiatus, the franchise was brought back to life in 2020 with the well-received Streets of Rage 4, developed by by Lizardcube, Guard Crush Games and Dotemu.
Videogame adaptations rarely strike the right notes, yet as fans of the series, we can’t wait to see what Kolstad can conjure. At the very least we expect a killer score, and given the nature of the game, that side-scrolling scene from Oldboy has us eager to see Axel powering his way toward Mr. X and The Syndicate.