Street Fighter has seen its share of live-action misfires, namely two full-length features that are best forgotten. But this year, Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist proved that live-action Street Fighter could be done right. But rather than a movie, Assassin’s Fist was a web series. The creators have spoken about plans to do more series, but the question inevitably, is what character would star? Here are the top 10 Street Fighter characters who should get the Assassin’s Fist treatment.
Chun-Li has had the most shots at live action glory…and failed horribly each time. A main character in the 1994 movie, and the the title character of the 2009 abomination, each film saw Chun-Li’s backstory given lip service, and then utterly desecrated. Seeing as Assassin’s Fist focus was entirely on the history of Ryu, Ken, Akuma, and Gouken, making a series that faithfully, yet realistically, adapts Chun-Li’s tragic past would be a breath of fresh air.
Guile is another high-profile mistake when it comes to live action. The very American Guile was incompetently played by the very Belgian Jean-Claude van Damme. Like Chun-Li, Guile’s backstory would serve a miniseries perfectly, depicting his search for his AWOL buddy Charlie Nash, only to find that Charlie is deep undercover in M. Bison’s Shadaloo organization. Just make sure to get somebody who can pull off the Flash Kick without a stunt double.
Zangief is something of a fan-favorite in the Street Fighter community, as he’s the progenitor of the grappling “360” style of fighting. Zangief lacks the tragedy of Chun-Li or Guile, but he does have plenty of comic potential. Perhaps this is where the writers can get creative, and a little experimental, making Zangief the star of Cold War Russian propaganda that depicts his fights. Seeing as the Assassin’s Fist series was set in 1989, perhaps setting it at around the same time (and taking place over the course of a few years) would make the fall of communism a great context for Zangief.
Even by Street Fighter’s standards, Dhalsim is a weird character. This means it’s probably hard to adapt him for live action (guess what, the 1994 movie didn’t even try making Dhalsim anything like his game counterpart). Of course, Dhalsim’s powers would be a nightmare for the special effects budget for a project of this scale, so the focus would need to shift. Dhalsim is one of the most interesting Street Fighter characters because he’s such a contradiction: a staunch pacifist who finds himself embroiled in fighting tournaments to protect those he loves. The games themselves have never gone into this too much, so maybe this is a good time to. Don’t focus on Dhalsim the fighter, focus on Dhalsim the family man and his inner conflicts.
Blanka is a character who could use some reimagining. There are a lot of ways his appearance can be explained. The original explanation was super goofy and had something to do with electric eels, but I think it’d be neat to see a Blanka who simply has tattoos that help camouflage him in the jungle. Blanka’s story of finding his mother is definitely a more emotional journey than most other Street Fighter characters, but just focusing on that wouldn’t cut it. No, we’d need to see the story of his friend…
Everybody’s favorite joke character, Dan Hibiki! Dan is comedy gold, and the fans love him. Watching Dan and Blanka’s vastly different stories intertwine could serve as a funhouse mirror reflection of the friendship already shown between Ryu and Ken. And of course you could also throw in the element of Dan taking on his own pupil.
Who of course is Ryu’s biggest fan. Sakura is so straightforward I almost feel silly putting her on this list. The question I would have is: would she ever actually meet Ryu, or would she be stuck with the second-rate Dan throughout the series to her disappointment? I can see both working, but the former would work best as part of the larger narrative, which might be a bit premature.
8. T. Hawk
T. Hawk has a bit of a bum rap out of the Street Fighter II characters. He and Dee Jay are hands-down the most unpopular characters from that golden arcade age. Without a doubt, this is due to his nature as a stereotypical Native American. There’s a better way to do it though, and it kinda edges towards social justice advocacy. T. Hawk’s people have been uprooted by the schemes of Bison. What does that do to a person? This could be a series that shows T. Hawk encountering the problems of depression and alcoholism that are unfortunately common among many Native Americans, and his struggle to right the wrongs done to his people. Or would that be too stereotypical as well?
Cammy’s story really hasn’t been told in other media (at least, media that’s taken seriously, no that cartoon based on the movie does not count). As with T. Hawk, Cammy’s story is one that works really well in the context of a sensitive issue: child soldiers. Cammy and the Dolls are little more than brainwashed child soldiers, granted with some Psycho Power mumbo jumbo thrown in about being bodies for Bison, but whatever. I want to see a dark Cammy, doing Bison’s wetwork, and then being rescued by MI6 and set on the path of redemption. Heck, something similar could awesomely be done with Juri (who I originally had on this list before realizing the similarities).
Sagat is an interesting beast. He works for Bison, yet he’s a noble soul. Ryu has great respect for him, even though they are bitter rivals. In many ways, Sagat’s story is one common to champions. The King of Muay Thai conquers his world, only to lose it all after one well-placed Shoryuken. Seeing Sagat’s downfall and its consequences (like his fight with his apprentice Adon), and his journey towards becoming Bison’s henchman is something that I REALLY want to see. In fact, I almost want to see it most out of anything on this list.