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[ May 21st 2004 ]

Variety is reporting this week that one of the most recognizable franchises in gaming is headed to the big screen. A film based on the Tekken series is reportedly underway and slated to begin production in late summer 2004. With a budget of $40 million, the title has Charles Stone (Drumline) in talks to direct the film from a script by Tomb Raider writers Mike Werb and Michael Colleary. The film is reportedly co-financed by Gaga, the Tokyo-based studio behind the cult hit Zeiram and owner of the Onimusha film rights. Despite its close Japanese ties, the film is expected to be an almost all-American film.

As fans of the series should know, this isn't the first time that the rights to Tekken have been acquired for a film adaptation. In 2002, production house Crystal Sky Entertainment acquired the rights to adapt the series, and while New Line Cinema was in negotiations with the company to co-fund and distribute the film, it appears that duty will rest with Miramax subsidiary Dimension Films. Dimension Films, most popular for the Scream series, has also specialized in distributing English-dubbed versions of Asian action films, such as Legend of Drunken Master and Twin Warriors.

Additionally, and likely the most exciting news, is that the sixth installment of the videogame series might be in the works as well. The article states that "Tekken 5 is in production and games rights-holder Namco is understood to be developing a new game based on the movie". While this information is unconfirmed as of now, we can only hope that the new movie will spawn yet another addition to the highly regarded fighting series.

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