If you were an arcade gamer in the late ’80s, and were a fan of the then-burgeoning beat-’em-up genre, you would have dropped at least a few quarters into Shinobi, by Sega. Starting with the side-scrolling arcade game in 1987 directed by Yutaka Sugano, Shinobi has continued across eleven other games on multiple platforms, including serving as system-sellers for both the Sega Master System and Genesis. One could even surmise that one of the nails in the coffin of Sega’s ill-fated Dreamcast console was that a Shinobi game never appeared on that platform. In a pre-Sonic world, Shinobi was certainly a tent-pole series for Sega.
Now word has been passed down from The Hollywood Reporter that Shinobi will infiltrate movie theatres, courtesy of Marc Platt Productions and Sega’s Stories International, Inc. Platt promised a noble portrayal of lead character Joe Musashi and his battle against the Zeed crime syndicate in a statement:
We love the Shinobi games and believe that the world of ninjas has never been properly explored onscreen. We now have the opportunity to do just that. With Shinobi, we hope to make a film that donors the essence of the games and brings this fascinating world to life for moviegoing audiences.
Here’s the original game in all its glory from beginning to end: