Today, Variety exclusively revealed that SEGA have partnered with 1212 Entertainment and Wild Sheep Content to create a film based on the legendary Yakuza franchise. Erik Barmack, Roberto Grande and Joshua Long are listed as producers, with 1212 and Wild Sheep currently searching for writers for the adaptation’s script.
What The Hell Is Yakuza?
Sorry, forgot for a minute I was writing this for the film department and not the gaming one. Yakuza is SEGA’s second biggest franchise behind Sonic The Hedgehog, with seven mainline games, an eighth that launches in the West this November, quite a few spin-offs and more. To say it’s lucrative and popular would be a bit of an understatement.
While the upcoming game is a new beginning for the series, with a brand new protagonist and setting, historically Yakuza focuses on the adventures of Kazuma Kiryu as he attempts to navigate the politics, intrigue and devious machinations of the Japanese criminal underworld. While it’s mostly a serious story, Yakuza is also famed for its zany distractions and side-quests, such as the one seen in the featured image. It’s odd, but there’s a heart and soul to the series that fans have loved since its inception in 2005.
What Will The Film Be About?
As mentioned, the producers haven’t found a writer for the script yet, but Variety make note of a statement from 1212, which reads as follows: “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 above statement suggests the film will be adapting part of Kazuma Kiryu’s story, perhaps even the first game in the series. For reference, the original Yakuza sees Kiryu return to Kamurocho, a fictional area of Tokyo, Japan, after spending 10 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Once back, he discovers his Yakuza family, the Tojo Clan, are trying to locate their missing 10 billion yen, with the chaos and uncertainty spilling out into Tokyo’s streets.
Would We Like To See A Yakuza Film?
I would, but that’s perhaps biased considering I spent nearly £80 on a jacket based on one of the characters from the series. Hopefully, the Yakuza property is handled with care, and any film adaptation does the franchise justice.
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