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Sega developing live-action Yakuza movie

Kazuma Kiryu hits the big screen

A close up shot of Kazuma Kirya from Yakuza Kiwami Image: Sega
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

On Thursday, Variety reported that Sega, alongside 1212 Entertainment and Wild Sheep Content, is currently developing a live-action movie based on the Yakuza franchise. The studios are looking for someone to pen the script.

The Yakuza games typically follow Kazuma Kiryu, a lifelong member of the Japanese mafia. Kiryu and a variety of wild characters participate in various minigames around Japan and work to solve some central mystery affecting the Yakuza. The series, which started in the PlayStation 2 era, has followed Kiryu from his young adult life through to his middle-age years.

The Yakuza series is extremely odd, with diaper men, bizarre mascots, baby hijinks, main characters popping out of garbage cans, and stand-ins for celebrities like Stephen Spielberg. The games have typically worked as action RPGs, but the upcoming Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a turn-based RPG. It’s going to be a strange series to see adapted to film.

Based on a quote by a representative from 1212, we know the Yakuza film will star Kiryu.

“Yakuza offers us a new playground in which to set compelling stories with complex characters in a unique environment that audiences have rarely seen before,” 1212 told Variety. “The saga of Kazuma Kiryu has a built-in cinematic appeal – a mix of kinetic action with bursts of comedy, multiple converging storylines, and a gripping journey towards redemption.”

Earlier this year, Sega found box office success with the live-action adaptation of Sonic the Hedgehog, which grossed more than $300 million, according to Box Office Mojo. A Sonic sequel is also in development.

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