I’m going to guess that Hyde Park Entertainment’s Ashok Amritraj has pre-sold the piss out of his highly unanticipated Street Fighter reboot. Now that they can’t capitalize on the twentieth anniversary of the game’s arcade debut (and that would be the inferior Street Fighter 1 in 1987), how are they going to sell this to a generation of gamers who grew up playing the more sophisticated likes of Final Fantasy, Resident Evil and Mappy Burns Harlem to the Ground? They’d probably get more traction with a Virtua Fighter movie at this point (especially if they could convince Jerry Schatzberg to come out of retirement to direct it). And as far as vintage kung-fu titles go, I’d much rather see a big screen adaptation of Kung-Fu Master, if only because there’s nothing more exciting than a black belt getting assaulted by confetti balls (this has Ivan Passer written all over it).
But Hyde Park is fully committed to Street Fighter 2.0 now; they’ve got 20th Century Fox on board as a distributor, and a cast that’s… well, they’re people and they have feelings, so I’ll withhold comment. The very cute Kristin Kreuk is set as Chun Li, who will be the protagonist this time out (as opposed to the stalwart Colonel William F. Guile, so memorably played by Jean-Claude Van Damme in Steven E. de Souza’s 1994 classic). Meanwhile, Michael Clarke Duncan will play Balrog. That’s not a joke. I’m not sure if Nash or Gen are characters from later iterations of the game, but those are the characters that’ll be brought to life by, respectively, Chris Klein and Rick Yune. I’m still not joking. Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas has also been cast. What?
Only Andrzej Bartkowiak could direct a film of such sterling pedigree. He’s working from a screenplay by Justin Marks, who did so many nice things with Voltron.