Video game titan Sega became known in the 1990s for dominating the emerging gaming industry. Today, though, Sega has since branched out into different markets, including film production, finding success with the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. On the heels of this recent success in mainstream Hollywood, the company is now developing a feature film based on one of their popular 1990s video games: the beat’ em up classic Comix Zone.
The news was first broken by The Hollywood Reporter, and later confirmed in a press release from Sega. The film will reportedly be a loose adaptation of the game, which was released in 1995 and set within the panels of a comic book as the player progressed through the in-game world. Comix Zone will revolve around “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 — and in the process wittily explore the ever-evolving power of storytelling itself.”
Comix Zone will be written by Mae Catt, best known for her work on the Emmy Award-winning animated series Young Justice for HBO Max. Beyond this, Catt has also earned acclaim for writing Dragons: The Nine Realms, a streaming series on Hulu and Peacock that serves as a spinoff of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. A director for the project has not yet been announced, nor has a release window been given.
Comix Zone is one of two film adaptations that were announced to be in production by Sega, along with a number of other projects that the company is reportedly working on developing. The other announced film will be based on the video game Space Channel 5, which, like Comix Zone, is considered a cult classic amongst fans of 1990s video games. The Space Channel 5 adaptation will be heavily based on the game, and follow “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.”
Both films are being helmed by Sega in collaboration with indie studio Picturestart, a production company founded by Erik Feig. A Hollywood mainstay, Feig is known for producing Academy Award winners such as The Hurt Locker and La La Land, as well as more teen-oriented features like The Hunger Games and the Divergent series. Collectively, Feig‘s films have grossed more than $12 billion worldwide, according to Variety.
The two projects come at a watershed moment for Sega – and video game films in general – which have recently had successes previously unseen among the genre. Perhaps most notable is Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog franchise starring Jim Carrey and Ben Schwartz. The most recent installment, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, was released to critical success and has grossed over $400 million at the global box office, making it the highest-grossing video game adaptation in U.S. history. The next film in the series, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, was recently given a Dec. 20, 2024 release date.