It looks like SEGA is going to attempt to mine more of its library in the live-action film route. A Sonic the Hedgehog movie is already in development at Sony Pictures. However, next up, SEGA wants to bring its classic Shinobi franchise to the screen. SEGA has officially announced that the publisher is developing the game series into a feature film along with Stories International, producer Mark Platt and his production partner Adam Siegel.
Platt and Siegel will be collaborating on the project alongside Stories International president and CEO Tomoya Suzuki. Speaking on the announcement, Platt stated, “With Shinobi, we hope to make a film that honors the essence of the games and brings this fascinating world to life for moviegoing audiences.”
Platt has worked as a producer on such films as Drive, Wanted, Bridge of Spies, Legally Blonde and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. It will be interesting to see if this game could translate into a live-action Hollywood movie. Video games tend to have a spotty track record being turned into movies. Not to mention, the lead characters of the Shinobi video games are Japanese. Hollywood tends to be very skittish where it concerns casting Asian actors in male lead roles in tentpole or action-driven franchises. Case in point, Scarlett Johansson was cast as the lead in Ghost in the Shell, considering that the character in the original is a Japanese female named Motoko Kusanagi.
The question is would the producers actually cast a Japanese or an Asian American actor in the lead role of Joe Musashi or Hotsuma? The Shinobi series originated as a 1987 arcade game. It later became a successful series on the SEGA Genesis. A reboot of the franchise, Shinobi, was also released on PlayStation 2 in 2002.