It’s rare to see movies based on video games turn out well so it’s understandable that the announcement of a beloved franchise receiving the Hollywood treatment is viewed with skepticism. This was also the case when a Yakuza movie was announced last week, but Yakuza Studio head Toshihiro Nagoshi has allayed fears by reassuring fans that the project won’t go ahead unless he feels that it’s good enough to.
Speaking during a Tokyo Game Show 2020 livestream (translation via IGN), Nagoshi confirmed that the upcoming movie isn’t your typical licensing deal.
We had an offer from the West, and a Yakuza movie is now underway in Hollywood. In a case like this, usually you have the side that wants to (license the IP) and the side that owns the IP, and a deal tends to be done as business. But in this case, I made it clear from the beginning that if the content itself was no good and I didn’t agree with it, then I would not want to do it, and I’ve been very upfront about it. I’ve told them that it will only proceed if it’s really good. So it’s a bit of a different arrangement than the standard (licensing) alliance. I don’t think (a Yakuza movie) is something that needs to be done for the sake of it, so it can only happen if it’s going to be good.
That’s a relief to hear!
Yakuza movie will be centered on series protagonist Kazuma Kiryu. We’ll update our readers when we have more information.