A Streets of Rage Movie From the Creator of John Wick? Yeah, I Can See It

As Sonic 2 and Uncharted prove there's life in the video game adaptation, the side-scrolling Sega classic could be next on the big screen.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read
Streets of Rage 4 game title screen
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Streets of Rage 4 game title screen

2020's Streets of Rage 4 is a modern revamp of the classic brawler. 


Classic '90s beat-'em-up Streets of Rage is set to knuckle up as a movie from the creator of the John Wick movies.

Having created the Keanu Reeves-starring action series, writer Derek Kolstad isn't involved in the forthcoming John Wick 4 (which is delayed until March 2023). Some people would use the time off to crash on the sofa playing video games, but Kolstad apparently went one better and wrote a big-screen version of the iconic Sega side-scrolling game.

Video game movie adaptations just won't go away, huh? There's a long history of iconic games turned into terrible movies. The recent Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City didn't exactly set the world alight, but the Uncharted adaptation with Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg and Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (in theaters now) this year tussled to be the biggest ever game movies. So the console-to-silver-screen pipeline well probably isn't drying up any time soon. And sometimes a combination of subject and filmmaker comes along that makes you think, y'know what? That'll work.

screenshot of Streets of Rage 2

Streets of Rage 2 was a pillar of the Genesis lineup.

Sega/Screenshot by GameSpot

Developed by Sega, the first game came out for its Genesis console in 1991, spawning two '90s sequels -- Streets of Rage 2 is playable on Nintendo Switch Online -- followed by a belated Streets of Rage 4 in 2020. Sega and dj2 Entertainment (the production company behind the Sonic movies) are developing the movie, Deadline reports, which Kolstad wrote as a spec script. Sega and dj2 Entertainment didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Streets of Rage story is simple and flexible enough for a film adaptation to flesh out the story while keeping the ass-kicking spirit. The original game followed badass cops Adam Hunter, Axel Stone and Blaze Fielding as they punched and kicked their way through hordes of 16-bit ninjas and other criminals.

Kolstad also wrote the acclaimed Bob Odenkirk action flick Nobody and co-produced Marvel's Disney Plus series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Let's hope his movie versions finds room for plenty of button-bashing baddie-beating, not to mention appearances from the game's brilliantly named characters, like Max Thunder, Skate and Dr. Zan.

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