news Lionsgate Straps on Rollerblades, Acquires ‘Streets of Rage’

John Wick won’t be the only guy beating ’em up at Lionsgate, as the studio has picked up the rights to the classic Sega video game adaptation “Streets of Rage” from the writer of “John Wick,” Derek Kolstad.

Kolstad is writing the script to the previously announced “Streets of Rage” film based on the Sega video game franchise, which are vintage side-scrolling “beat ’em up” games that became hugely popular in the ’90s. And boy, was the game a product of the ’90s — playable character Eddie “Skate” Hunter whooped the endless baddies while wearing a pair of rollerblades.

Kolstad is producing the film alongside Sega’s Toru Nakahara, dj2 Entertainment’s Dmitri M. Johnson, Timothy I. Stevenson, and Dan Jevons. Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Tony Shaw are also producing. Johnson of dj2 is best known for producing the “Sonic” films alongside Sega. Johnson has a number of other video game adaptations in the works, and he recently launched a new production company alongside Kolstad and former APA agent Mike Goldberg.

“Streets of Rage” continues Lionsgate’s relationship with Kolstad after going all in on “John Wick,” including a fourth film in the Keanu Reeves action franchise arriving next year. What’s more, Lionsgate has a “Borderlands” video game adaptation coming from Eli Roth at some point next year.

“When Dmitri first mentioned the idea of cracking a ‘Streets of Rage’ movie, I was so immediately freaking in. And to play with Sega? The ten year-old me is still grinning,” Kolstad said in a statement.

Johnson added, “I’ve wanted to make a ‘Streets of Rage’ film since I was 12 years-old. This has shaped up to become a ‘dream project’ alongside a ‘dream team’.”

“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,” Nakahara said in a statement.

The first “Streets of Rage” game was released in 1991, and it spawned two more sequels up through 1994. But in 2020, Sega released a fourth game in the franchise that retained the anime-style graphics and vintage side-scrolling game play.

Brady Fujikawa and Jon Humphrey are overseeing the project for Lionsgate, with Shuji Utsumi and Toru Nakahara overseeing for Sega, Dmitri M. Johnson overseeing for dj2 Entertainment, and Tony Shaw overseeing for Escape Artists.

Deadline first reported the news.
This is a true story. Around 2010, I was actually friends with the guy who designed Streets of Rage. He and I lived within a few miles of each other, and ended up hanging out at some of the same places. He was a tall African American guy, and was really intelligent and a great conversationalist. We used to play pool together and talk about what a nightmare it was getting a creative idea across to a table full of suits.

As far as a possible movie, it seems kind of pointless. Maybe It'll be great, but it seems like if you were going to take an idea this basic and throw 40 million dollars at it, it would have made more sense to produce "The Warriors part II" or some franchise that people alive today are familiar with.