Danny and Michael Philippou, the Australian director duo behind countless short horror films and sketches on the RackaRacka YouTube channel, are reportedly set to direct the upcoming Street Fighter film reboot for Legendary.
As first revealed by The Hollywood Reporter, the Philippous caught the attention of Legendary following the release of their Sundance smash hit, Talk to Me, which stars a woman conjuring an ancient spirit. The film reportedly generated a phenomenal amount of buzz following screenings at the festival, and led to talent deals, and a major bidding war eventually won by A24.
Sources speaking to THR believe this inspired Legendary to offer the duo a ‘lucrative low- to mid-seven figure deal for [Street] Fighter.’ Negotiations have not formally been completed, but are expected to close shortly.
As for the subject matter and direction of the new Street Fighter movie reboot, not much has been said. While the Philippous are most known for their horror roots – both work on RackaRacka, and previously aided production on Aussie indie horror, The Babadook – we can assume the film will lean more towards action, given the Street Fighter subject matter.
First established in 1987, the franchise began as an arcade fighter starring a cast of eclectic characters. Since then, it’s undergone several facelifts, with new modes and mechanics fleshing out its world and mythos, but it has rarely strayed from its fighting game roots.
The leaves the door fairly wide open to adapt its characters to an original, impactful story. The 1994 live-action film attempted this with great enthusiasm, and remains as a fun and over-the-top camp adventure, but it didn’t quite grasp the heights of the Street Fighter franchise. A subsequent effort in 2009, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, was very poorly received, and tanked ambitions for future adaptations of the franchise.
It’s likely the success of modern video game movies, like Mortal Kombat and Sonic the Hedgehog, has inspired this revisitation. For now, we know very little about Legendary’s plans for Street Fighter, but with the talented Philippous on board, there might be reason to hope for a solid and faithful adaptation.