The film rights to “Street Fighter” have been acquired by Legendary Entertainment

The film, based on the iconic fighting game series, is currently in development.

For “Street Fighter” fans, it was the most important day of their lives when Legendary Entertainment announced that a new live-action film for the franchise was in the works. But for Legendary it was tuesday – or rather on Monday.

Legendary has struck a deal with Capcom, the video game publisher behind “Street Fighter,” to acquire exclusive rights to live-action film and television adaptations of the fighting game franchise. A feature film based on the games is currently in development. Along with all other projects, Legendary is co-developing and producing with Capcom.

The news comes three months ahead of the release of the latest entry in the franchise, “Street Fighter 6,” which will be released on June 2 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. The last entry, “Street Fighter V,” was released in 2016 and received two updated versions in 2018 and 2020.

Like most fighting games, “Street Fighter” is pretty bare-bones. The details usually revolve around a colorful team of martial artists organized by the international crime syndicate Shadaloo. The franchise’s list of playable characters has grown to well over 100 over the years, but the de facto protagonist is the Hadouken-wielding Japanese martial artist Ryu. Other main characters in the series include Ryu’s best friend Ken, his nemesis Akuma, Chinese Interpol officer Chun-Li, British super soldier Cammy, US Air Force Major Guile, a bizarre green-skinned beast Blanka, and the primary antagonist, leader of Shadaloo, Bison M.

Created by Takashi Nishiyama and Hiroshi Matsumoto, the original “Street Fighter” was released in 1987 to modest success. However, the franchise’s popularity was really boosted by 1991’s “Street Fighter II: The World Warrior,” which grossed an estimated $10.56 billion through the arcade game and sold more than 15 million copies on home consoles. The game and its sequels single-handedly established much of the conventions and mechanics that define the fighting game genre, and the franchise has sold a combined 49 million units worldwide from its various entries and spinoffs.

The success of the games spawned two previous live-action films. The first “Street Fighter” in 1994 received negative reviews but was relatively successful commercially and has since grown a following over the years, especially for Raul Julia. a deliciously ashy performance like M. Bison. The second, 2009’s The Legend of Chun-Li, received equally negative reviews and flopped at the box office. Three anime films and two animated series were released based on the franchise.

Legendary has previously produced two theatrical films based on video game franchises: 2016’s “Warcraft” and 2019’s “Detective Pikachu.” Both are currently the highest-grossing video game films of all time, grossing more than $430 million each, though “Warcraft” still hasn’t broken through at the box office.

A sequel to the immensely popular “Pokémon” franchise, “Detective Pikachu,” is in development at Legendary, with “Portlandia” co-creator Jonathan Krisel directing. Last year, the studio was reportedly working on an adaptation of the film (notorious is a first-person shooter from the team behind ‘Duke Nukem’, ‘Cobra Kai’.

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