Having seen huge success with the first two Sonic the Hedgehog movies – and a third already confirmed for release in 2024 – Sega have now turned their attention to Sega classics Space Channel 5 and Comix Zone!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, these two fairly unlikely candidates for cinematic adaptation have been pulled from the very extensive list of classic games in their back catalogue.
Despite having a wealth of titles that could prove to be great action movies – the Shinobi games, Altered Beast and Golden Axe all come to mind as games that could make for great movie experiences – Sega have actually opted to bring adaptations of Dreamcast game Space Channel 5 and Mega Drive/Genesis title Comix Zone to the big screen.]
Here’s what we know!
What Is Space Channel 5?
Now more known for creating the synaesthesia-based on-rails shooter Rez, musical puzzler Lumines and the incredible Tetris Effect, Tetsuya Mizuguchi was the brains behind Space Channel 5.
Released on Sega’s ill-fated Dreamcast in 1999, Space Channel 5 was a campy, retro-futuristic slice of science fiction, which saw reporter Ulala fending off an alien invasion and rescuing civilians.
With the Morolian method of invasion being to force humans to endlessly dance to their nefarious rhythms, Ulala’s plan to fight back consists of beating them at their own game – using her groovy moves and timed laser shots to overcome increasingly difficult musical numbers and boss challenges.
It’s an excellent, underrated game; so good that it made it to our best Dreamcast games list!
What Sort Of Film Could Space Channel 5 Be?
Though it doesn’t sound like the most obvious choice for a film, Space Channel 5’s unique audiovisual design could make for an appealing cinematic experience.
It’s very likely that Space Channel 5 would make a really fun musical – with all of the dayglo colours, silver jumpsuits and dancing aliens giving it a fun, kitsch feel that’ll be unlike any contemporary movie experience.
Take the 60s Euro sci-fi of Barbarella, mix with the gloriously campy 80s Flash Gordon, then set it to music – and voila, you’ve likely just imagined exactly what Space Channel 5 the movie will be!
What Is Comix Zone?
The second movie that Sega are partnering with production company Picturestart on bringing to movie screens is Comix Zone – a 1995 beat ‘em up with a style and structure that still feels unique, more than 25 years later.
Comic creator Sketch Turner is zapped into – and trapped in – the pages of the comic book he’s been creating, fighting his way through each panel and page of the comic in order to escape.
Comix Zone is notorious for being very challenging, but its unique sense of style means it’s fondly remembered as a true original.
What Sort Of Film Could Comix Zone Be?
In our currently superhero-dominated cinematic landscape, a Comix Zone movie makes an awful lot of sense.
Not only are audiences much more familiar with comic book-style action, but it’s very likely that a film which deconstructs comic book tropes – as Comix Zone is almost certainly going to do – will be understood by modern cinemagoers in a way that may not have been possible before the advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For example, films like 1999’s Mystery Men and Watchmen in 2009 struggled with a more parodic or deconstructionist approach.
These days audiences are finely tuned to the aspects of comic books – as well as the movies and TV shows based on them.
How Likely Are We To Actually See The Space Channel 5 And Comix Zone Movies?
So many films get stuck in production hell after being announced that it’s a wonder any film gets completed! There is, however, a good chance that Space Channel 5 and Comix Zone will make it to cinemas.
Production company Picturestart have already been able to get a number of films completed and released.
In the case of Space Channel 5 and Comix Zone, The Hollywood Reporter have noted that screenwriters and producers are already on board for both projects, with both Sega and Picturestart having announced their respective producers.
Now that the third Sonic movie is in the early stages of pre-production, it’s an exciting time to be a Sega fan. With their decades of arcade and console franchises, the sky’s the limit for what series they could mine for cinematic gold next.
With Top Gun: Maverick having been such a huge success this year, perhaps an After Burner movie could be on the cards?
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Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.