Following the news that Sega is working on a new Hollywood-made, live-action movie based on the popular Yakuza series, many fans wondered how much input Sega actually has in the film. During this year’s Tokyo Game Show, we’ve learned the series’ creator actually had to personally sign off on the film.
In the Tokyo Game Show 2020 broadcast, series creator and Yakuza Studio head Toshihiro Nagoshi talked up the movie adaptation (Sega, via IGN), and how he would only approve the movie adaptation if it was up to his standards. This is also the first statement from Sega after the movie was announced.
“We had an offer from the West, and a Yakuza movie is now underway in Hollywood,” Nagoshi said. “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.”
Nagoshi is not only the head of the Yakuza series-making Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, but also the chief creative officer at Sega. This gives him veto power to stop a big licensing deal like this from happening.
“I’ve told them that it will only proceed if it’s really good,” he said. “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.”
The Yakuza live-action movie hasn’t even begun production, and the production company, 1212 Entertainment, is still looking for writers to actually pen the script. We’ll keep you updated as the movie’s production continues in the coming years.