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Danny and Michael Philippou are taking it to the street.
The Australian twin filmmaker duo behind Sundance horror sensation Talk to Me are in final negotiations to direct Street Fighter, Legendary’s feature adaptation of the classic video game from Capcom.
Street Fighter is one of the more enduring fighting video game franchises of all time. It began life with the 1987 arcade game Street Fighter, and set a high water mark for arcade fighting games with Street Fighter II. The game, released in 1991, was the first to offer a choice of characters and fighting techniques, revolutionizing one-on-one play.
SFII became a phenomenon, with Capcom unleashing countless special editions and remakes. In all, the franchise has sold 49 million units worldwide, with a new installment, Street Fighter 6, due out June 2.
A take on the material, or which characters would be involved, wasn’t revealed, but if the Philippous are being hired off the strength of their breakout, tension and gore may be on the agenda. Conversations with a short list of writers are currently underway.
Legendary had no comment on the deal. The company, which picked up the movie and TV rights to the game earlier this month, is working with Capcom to produce the adaptation.
This isn’t Fighter’s first go-around in Hollywood. There was the 1994 film that starred Jean-Claude Van Damme as Col. Guile and featured a cast including Kylie Minogue, Ming-Na Wen and the late Raul Julia. And in 2009, 20th Century Fox released Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), which starred Kristin Kreuk in the title role. Both were commercial and critical bombs, although the Van Damme version has gone on to achieve cult status in the intervening years.
The Philippou brothers ran a very popular YouTube channel, RackaRacka, making horror and comedy content, but it was their feature debut, Talk to Me, that really got Hollywood’s attention. The movie, which tells the story of a young woman who conjures a spirit via an embalmed hand, premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The screening touched off a bidding war, with A24 paying a seven-figure sum for the rights.
The Philippous were the hot filmmakers of the fest, with all-day, all-night courting by agencies and movie companies before and after the premiere of their flick. Ultimately, they signed with WME. (They are managed by Authentic Talent and Literary Management.)
Sources say the duo was able to capitalize on the buzz and heat of their movie, which has a July 28 release date, and scored a lucrative low- to mid-seven-figure deal for Fighter.
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