John Wick’s Creator Is Making A Beloved Sega Video Game Into A Movie, And Bring On The Action

Streets of Rage artwork of main heroes
(Image credit: Sega)

It’s safe to say that one of the most popular action movies of the last decade is John Wick, which saw Keanu Reeves playing an assassin who came out of retirement to exact vengeance on the people who killed his dog. The 2014 movie was penned by Derek Kolstad, and though he return to co-write the following two John Wick sequels, he wasn’t brought back for John Wick: Chapter 4. Fortunately, Kolstad hasn’t had any trouble finding other action-related projects, which now includes him being hired to put together a film adaptation of a beloved Sega video game.

Lionsgate, the same film studio behind the John Wick movies, has officially acquired the Streets of Rage movie that Derek Kolstad is writing, as well as producing alongside Sega’s Toru Nakahara, dj2 Entertainment’s Dmitri M. Johnson, Timothy I. Stevenson, and Dan Jevons, and Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Tony Shaw. No plot details have been revealed yet, but this will be the fourth Sega franchise to be adapted for the big screen, following behind Sonic the Hedgehog, House of the Dead and Yakuza (though the latter’s movie was titled Like a Dragon). Here’s Kolstad’s official statement about working on Streets of Rage:

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.

For those unfamiliar, Streets of Rage is a side-scrolling beat ‘em up-style video game series that follows a group of ex-police vigilantes fighting The Syndicate, the criminal organization that’s corrupted their city’s government. The core heroic trio consists of Adam Hunter, Axel Stone and Blaze Fielding, and the enigmatic Mr. X leads The Syndicate. The first three Streets of Rage games, which came out between 1991 and 1994, were all met with positive critical reception. The franchise was revived in 2020 with Streets of Rage 4, which was also well received, though it’s unclear if Streets of Rage 5 is on the way.

Streets of Rage certainly qualifies as a Sega classic deserving of getting a film adaptation, especially following how well the Sonic the Hedgehog movies have performed (you can check those out by subscribing to Paramount+). That’s not to say that Streets of Rage will hit the same levels of success, but with Derek Kolstad writing the movie, we can at least count on it coming through on the action front. The premise of the original games is simple enough that Kolstad should have enough room to put his own spin on the material, just so long as viewers get to watch the protagonists beat up the bad guys.

As soon as concrete details about what to expect from the Streets of Rage movie come in, we’ll pass them along. Until then, Disney+ subscribers can see Derek Kolstad’s work on display in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episodes “Power Broker” and “The Whole World Is Watching,” or you can break out your HBO Max subscription to watch his 2021 movie Nobody.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.