Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist needs your cash to get off the ground, though no one will blame you for balking at the idea of another live-action adaptation of Capcom’s famous fighting franchise.
Capcom’s Street Fighter games, while arguably the most important fighting titles of all time, have had poor luck in attempting to jump to new media. Let’s do a quick count, shall we? We’ve got two, live-action Hollywood adaptations, one of which is best enjoyed ironically while the other is totally unpalatable. Then there were a handful of anime adaptations, all of which were more faithful to their source material than the Hollywood productions, yet are collectively remembered solely for a single, momentary glimpse of Chun-Li’s cartoon lady bits. Really, the only good film versions of Street Fighter have come from the series’ talented fan base.
For example, Street Fighter: Legacy. That’d be the three-minute long short film embedded at top-right. While Legacy was filmed for a fraction of the cash Hollywood spent on the craft services table at the 1994 Street Fighter flick, it oozes dedication and genuine affection for the source material. It’s a nice bonus that the people behind it are talented filmmakers, but the key reason why Legacy succeeds is that it doesn’t condescend toward its audience, nor does it attempt to shoehorn Capcom’s wacky design sensibilities into an inevitably idiotic doppelganger of the real world.
Why mention all of this? Simple: The people responsible for Street Fighter: Legacy recently launched a Kickstarter fundraising effort to pull in cash for a new project dubbed Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist. According to the Kickstarter page, Assassin’s Fist will be a web-based video series building on the concepts and style seen in Street Fighter: Legacy. Obviously Assassin’s Fist would be a much more involved production than Legacy was, and to that end director/writer/key motivational figure Joey Ansah is seeking £650,000 (roughly $957,000USD) to put the whole thing together.
That may seem like a lot of scratch, but keep in mind that many of the stars of your favorite broadcast network sitcoms make quite a bit more than that for acting in a single episode. I’ve never seen Modern Family, but unless Ed O’Neill is throwing some wicked Hadoukens that were only vaguely hinted at during his Married … With Children tenure, the figure Ansah is seeking seems pretty reasonable.
The most impressive aspect of this project – and the only reason I’m writing up yet another Kickstarter drive – is that it has Capcom’s official blessing. According to Ansah, the publisher enjoyed his work on Street Fighter: Legacy to such a degree that it agreed to sell the option for a web-based show to Ansah’s crew, instead of simply tossing a cease and desist order his way.
That should be a big feather in Ansah’s cap, but don’t take that as a sign of Capcom’s endless generosity. If Assassin’s Fist is a hit, the company stands to make tons of money from what is effectively volunteer advertising. If it fails, Capcom loses nothing. It’s a win-win situation for the publisher, and while the cynical among you may slam the corporation, it’s important to remember that Capcom is a corporation. It is not your friend. Its only goal is to maximize profits and protect the interests of shareholders. For proof of this, look no further than the recent adventures of Mega Man. Which adventures? Exactly.
Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist has 25 days left to raise £623,137 ($954,147USD). If successful, the series should debut toward the end of the year. If any of this has piqued your interest, please read through the Kickstarter page. It’s obviously a labor of love, and it addresses almost every question you could possibly have (though Ansah says almost nothing about the series’ plot).