By: John M Jerva
Well this is certainly disappointing news and rightly so for fans of the hit STREETFIGHTER: ASSASSIN’S FIST which told a true to its origins story of iconic characters Ryu and Ken Masters. Director and creator Joey Ansah has confirmed with fans on Facebook that the potential follow up to the digital series that was morphed into a full length film is indeed not going to happen. The new series was set to be called STREETFIGHTER: World Warrior and would have continued the adventures of the martial arts duo but in an expended and more detailed world with even more characters added.
There was a sequel titled STREETFIGHTER: Resurrection that also included Kickboxer star Alain Moussi which ran on the now defunct go90 app from Verizon. This newest sequel would have again starred Mike Moh and Christian Howard as Ryu and Ken respectively but due to budget and the general nature of the beast when it comes to filmmaking, Ansah has delivered the painful news that World Warrior is shelved.
Ansah wrote a detailed letter to the fans on Facebook and you can read his comments below:
Hi SFAF fans, Joey here. It has been a long time since the last update on this page and figured it was a good time to update our fanbase on the status of SFWW or any follow up to SFAF:
As you may all remember, SFAF was made on an extremely tight budget of $2.5million and a lot of personal financial investment and deferment from all the key cast and crew. All the money went on the screen and not in our pockets to give the best possible product. Making it this way allowed me to maintain full creative control (which is a rarity in movie making). The streamlined story largely set in the Japanese wilderness of Ryu, Ken, Gouken, Akuma etc allowed us to create a high production value on a tight budget. To expand the story to encompass the World Warrior storyline, locations and large roster of characters would require a hugely increased budget and hour long episodes like most cable series we all love to watch. To guarantee the kind of production value (and budget that a SFWW TV show truly deserves) means partnering with a large Studio backed production company. With many studios interested we partnered with one that we believed best understood the ‘vision’ and more importantly understood the creative process that made SFAF what it was.
However working with Studios is never straight forward, contract making takes time (years) in that time, creative execs come and go from a studio, so who you end up working with down the line calling the shots on your show’s development may well not be the person you originally pitched to and believed in. You are at the mercy of trying to work as best you can with all the players involved when things finally get moving. As the process developed it was clear that despite being an exec Prod. on the show, I wouldn’t be the lead writer or director of the show, and without being in creative control, I would not be able to guarantee an authentic continuation of the SF story in live-action that you have grown to love and support. In any case, without going into too much detail, the Studio we had partnered with had a finite number of years to develop and sell the show to a channel or network, before the contract would elapse. Sadly after all was said and done, an effort to sell the developed show by the Studio happened too close to the gate and didn’t land in time. So the rights sit back with Capcom. Hard to fathom that 5 years of work, energy and frustration in the studio system for myself, Jacky and Mark have led to nada….back to Square 1.
So in a nut shell do not expect a follow up series anytime in the immediate to near future. Horrible news I know, but all we can do is look forward. I still have a fantastic relationship with Capcom and the fight to do something with them in this space is not over! Over these 5 years I’ve developed some incredible creative material that in the meantime could see the light of day as a Graphic novel etc. while my team navigate ways to still bring authentic live action SF to the screen. Thanks for your patience, I know this isn’t the update you were hoping for, but you deserve to know the truth.
Thanks as always for the love and support for the body of SF work we’ve done thus far.
Big love from myself and the rest of the team.
So this is without a doubt, some very sad news as these were the most true interpretations to the original video game source material. Maybe one day down the road, someone will release another version of the iconic game and it will be what the fans want. Sadly, Ansah was the one to give it to us.
Street Fighter hasn’t had the success in films as it has in video games with JCVD’s 1994 attempt being the most popular but it is incredibly cheesy and is devoid of any real hardcore martial arts action. A 2009 attempt was also made called Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li but that film was even more ridiculed by fans and critics alike although the martial artist action was a little more amped up.
Ansah has been a big staple in the action genre ever since bursting onto the scene when he took on Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum. He is regarded as a premiere martial artist and filmmaker as well as one of the most sought after fight coordinators in the business and it would have been nice to see him continue his version which again is the truest representation to the game out there.
Assassin’s Fist was loaded with some pretty cool fight action and Moh and Howard were perfect for the roles and adding martial arts superstar Alain Moussi in Resurrection solidified it even more even though the episodes were extremely short with the total running time just over 30 minutes but it still packed a punch.
While we mourn the news today, check out footage from both digital series below and see what could have been with a new installment.