Sifu live-action movie in the works from John Wick creator

(Image credit: Sloclap)

The 2022 martial arts indie game Sifu is being adapted for the big screen by John Wick creator Derek Kolstad.

As reported by Deadline, Kolstad's production company, Story Kitchen, nabbed the rights to adapt Sifu after a "competitive pursuit." It isn't clear what other companies were interested in the project, but we know Kolstad himself is adapting the script.

Kolstad, best known for creating the John Wick series, is also hard at work adapting the classic beat-'em-up video game series Streets of Rage for the big screen. The adaptation was recently scooped up by Lionsgate.

Sifu tells a classic martial arts story set in modern-day China, based around the child of a martial arts school's sifu (master) who's determined to bring justice to those who responsible for their father's death. It's unclear how closely the live-action movie will stick to the events told in the game.

The very video-gamey twist to the story is that every time the hero dies, they're resurrected thanks to a magical talisman, but each time they're brought back to life, they re-enter the world older, until eventually they run out of lives and their mission comes to an end. If you manage to make it to the end before running out of lives, then you'll get to see the completion of the story.

That seems like something Sifu developer Sloclap added as a way to explain the player character coming back after being killed, and it also add stakes to the gameplay. It'll be interesting to see whether that element is something Kolstad and Story Kitchen are keen to incorporate into the movie, or if they'll just scrap it and stick with adapting the basic premise.

Only time will tell whether Sifu ultimately joins the ranks of the best video game movies ever, but it's looking pretty good on paper so far.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.