A live-action adaptation of the popular video-game series Yakuza is currently in development, according to Variety. The production will be a collaboration between Sega, 1212 Entertainment, and Wild Sheep Content. After Sonic the Hedgehog (which is reportedly getting a sequel), this will be Sega’s next big push to adapt its game franchises into films.
The Yakuza game series started on PlayStation 2 in 2005 and has grown from a somewhat obscure import rarity in the US to a full-on respected global series with many sequels and spin-offs for multiple platforms. The upcoming eighth entry in the series, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, was released in Japan earlier this year and is currently slated for a Western release on November 13. The game will see the narrative torch passed from former main protagonist, the honor-bound Kazuma Kiryu, to Ichiban Kasuga, who Sega has described as “much more emotive and outspoken,” via GamingBolt.
“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,” a 1212 spokesperson said. “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.”
This is not the first time Yakuza has been adapted into a movie. In 2007, director Takashi Miike helmed the Japanese crime film Yakuza: Like a Dragon based on the debut PlayStation 2 game. It’s unclear whether this new version will retell stories explored in the game or tell an original story set in that universe.