Two classic SEGA games are going to the big screen

Striking while the iron is hot, SEGA partners with Picturestart to develop movie adaptations of Comix Zone and Space Channel 5.


Sonic is going to have company soon, as SEGA games Comix Zone and Space Channel 5 are both being adapted for the big screen.

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Striking while the iron is hot, SEGA partners with Picturestart to develop movie adaptations of Comix Zone and Space Channel 5. (Images: SEGA)

Fueled by the box office success of the two Sonic the Hedgehog live action films (with a third film in early development), SEGA has brokered a deal to bring more of its properties to theaters. However, instead of going with a more famous property like Golden Axe or Streets of Rage, the chosen properties are a bit on the obscure side.

Partnered with Picturestart

Announcement for the Comix Zone and Space Channel 5 film adaptations was confirmed with a press release at the official SEGA website.

The two film projects will be overseen by Royce Reeves-Darby and Erik Feig. They will also be partnering with Samie Kim Falvey thorugh the independent film company Picturestart.

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Comix Zone was one of the greatest Sega Genesis games of all time, with its impressive graphics and fast beat 'em up action.

On the SEGA side, Vice President and Co-COO Shuji Utsumi will provide oversight, while Toru Nakahara will be producing. Nakahara is also the producer for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie franchise and executive producer on the Sonic Prime TV series.

Other key figures will be Kagasei Shimomura (SEGA video game producer) on the Comix Zone development team, while Takumi Yoshinaga (SEGA video game director) will be working with the Space Channel 5 adaptation.

More information for each movie project are available below.

Comix Zone

Comix Zone was a beat ‘em up video game released in 1995 for the Sega Genesis and Sega Mega Drive. The game’s story centered on Sketch Turner, a freelance musician and comic book artist in New York City, Sketch is accidentally gets pulled into the world of the comic book he was working on. Aside from fighting to survive, Sketch must also thwart the plans of the mutant Mortus and prevent a nuclear disaster.

Comix Zone became one of the greatest Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games of all time, thanks to its impressive visuals for the 16-bit console, upbeat soundtrack, and fast-paced action gameplay. It has since been re-released multiple times on retro collections, including versions for the Game Boy Advance, Playstation 2, Playstation Portable, Nintendo Wii, Xbox Live, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Android and iOS, and the most recent on the Sega Genesis Mini and Nintendo Switch Online.

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The Comix Zone film will add a queer writer of color in the adventure, according to the SEGA press release.

The film adaptation will follow the basic premise of the Comix Zone game. According to the current description from the press release:

COMIX ZONE, an adaptation of the cult console game that has been so influential to so many over the years, follows 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.

The screenplay for Comix Zone will be penned by Mae Catt. Catt has written for the animated Young Justice, Dragons: The Nine Realms, and the Netflix exclusive Transformers: War for Cybertron.

Space Channel 5

Space Channel 5 was released in 1999 for the Sega Dreamcast console. Developed by United Game Artists, Space Channel 5 is a music video rhythm and shooting game. In it, players take control of Ulala, a reporter of the game’s titular channel.

The game is set in a retro sci-fi future. Ulala must go through four stages in an attempt to save the world from an alien invasion, but ultimately turns out to be a plot to increase Space Channel 5’s ratings. The first Space Channel 5 was also ported for the Playstation 2 and the Game Boy Advance.

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The Space Channel 5 movie will be a comedy, with both action and dance sequences.

According to the official press release, Space Channel 5 will be a comedy and might feature a different main character other than Ulala herself:

SPACE CHANNEL 5, a comedy/dance adaptation of the cult-classic 1999 dance game, will tell the story of 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.

The Space Channel 5 adaptation will be written by Barry Battles (The Baytown Outlaws) and Nir Paniry (Extracted).

The two movies are certainly surprising choices. However, they do have some resemblance to recent blockbuster movies like Free Guy, with their video game elements and comedic tones.

No release date has been announced for Comix Zone and Space Channel 5. For now, you can catch Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Paramount+ streaming platform.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.
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