Sega, Picturestart Team for Video Game Adaptations ‘Space Channel 5,’ ‘Comix Zone’ (Exclusive)
The games, originally released in the ’90s, are finding new life.
With a third Sonic the Hedghog movie now in the works, Sega, the video game company behind the global hit, is now targeting other titles for adaptation.
Sega has partnered with Picturestart, the banner behind the recently released Am I Ok? and Sundance hit Cha Cha Real Smooth, to develop film adaptations of two of its 1990s video game titles, Space Channel 5 and Comix Zone.
Channel 5, a comedy/dance adaptation of the cult-classic 1999 dance game, will tell 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 that unites all people on the planet: our love of silly viral dances.
That project is being written by Barry Battles and Nir Paniry. Battles wrote and directed The Baytown Outlaws, a 2012 crime comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton and Eva Longoria. Paniry wrote and directed Extracted, a sci-fi drama nominated for the Emerging Visions Award at South by Southwest.
Zone, an adaptation of the cult console game, follows a jaded comic book creator and a young, queer writer of color who, when sucked into the final issue of his popular series, must put aside their differences to stop a dangerous supervillain from sowing complete destruction. In the process, they wittily explore the ever-evolving art of storytelling itself.
Zone will be written by Mae Catt, whose credits include writing on the Emmy-winning animated DC series Young Justice, and the How to Train Your Dragon spinoff series, Dragons: The Nine Realm. She was also a writer on Netflix’s Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy.
Royce Reeves-Darby and Erik Feig are overseeing both projects for Picturestart and will produce alongside the company’s Samie Kim Falvey. Picturestart already has a toe in video game adaptations as it is one of the companies producing Borderlands, Lionsgate’s fantasy based on the Gearbox/2K Games video game.
Sega’s Toru Nakahara, producer for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie franchise as well as executive producer for Sonic Prime TV series, will produce the two adaptations. Takumi Yoshinaga, Sega video game director, will join the team for Channel 5 while Kagasei Shimomura, Sega’s video game producer, will join the team for Zone.
Battles is repped by CAA and Bellevue Productions while Paniry is repped by Bellevue. Catt is repped by Writ Large.
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