SEGA’s Comix Zone and Space Channel 5 are getting their own movies.
The pair of obscure SEGA titles are being developed into movies by Picturestart – the production company behind the upcoming Borderlands movie. While they aren’t the kind of games that immediately spring to mind for movie adaptations, it certainly looks like SEGA is going all in on these obscure titles.
SEGA Vice President and Co-COO Shuji Utsumi oversees both films, while Toru Nakahara, the producer of the recent Sonic the Hedgehog films, joins as executive producer.
Comix Zone was a cult classic on the SEGA Genesis – a side-scrolling adventure starring cartoonist Sketch Turner who is drawn into his own unfinished comic book by a villain he created. The upcoming movie follows a similar thread.
An adaptation of the cult console game that has influenced so many over the years, Comix Zone follows a jaded comic book artist and a young, queer writer of color who, when he was featured in the final issue of his hit series sucked, must put aside their differences to prevent a dangerous supervillain from sowing complete destruction – and in the process wittily exploring the ever-evolving power of storytelling for itself.
Raised in the 90’s with a passion for comic books, Comix Zone was one of my favorite games. I practically wore the game’s gnarly soundtrack—a free CD recorded by Howard Drossin as the real-life version of the in-game comic book creator band.
Released on Dreamcast in 2002, Space Channel 5 followed reporter Ulala who worked for the titular news channel as she covered the events of an alien invasion while also trying to fight off the invaders herself… all through dance.
A great choice for a film adaptation.
“Space Channel 5, a comedy/dance adaptation of the 1999 cult-classic dance game, tells the story of a hapless fast-food worker who is recruited by a freedom reporter from the future to save the world from aliens using the one thing all humans can do. on the planet unites: our love for crazy viral dances.”
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But there is one big question that really needs to be answered. Why now?
Even as a die-hard Comix Zone fan I can’t help but think: isn’t this about twenty years too late? Whether the films will find an audience remains to be seen. Still, the thought of Sketch Turner ripping through the pages of his own comic book on the big screen is an exciting prospect.
At least for me.
Comix Zone is written by Mae Catt, while Space Channel 5 is written by Barry Battles and Nir Paniry.
Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.
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