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SF film writer explains Chun-Li focus

She's "not just a sex object fantasy".

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Street Fighter movie writer Justin Marks has said he picked Chun-Li as the focus because films are about unexpected heroes, and not so he could have a "blatantly sexualised female lead".

He acknowledges that Ryu and Ken are "the muscle" of the familiar series, but says Chun-Li is the "heart and soul" because her father was taken from her; she is the little girl that everyone wrote off.

The part of Chun-Li will be played by lovely Smallville [and Edgemont - Dep Ed] star Kristin Kreuk, but Justin Marks sees her in more of a Ripley from Aliens role than any-of-them from Dead or Alive.

"First, I've never seen a successful action movie (in my mind) that blatantly sexualised its female lead and succeeded for its audience; Catwoman, Elektra, the list goes on and on," Justin Marks told JoBlo.

"Then I think back to The Terminator, or possibly my all-time favourite movie, Aliens, and I think of how Ripley is depicted in that film. She's a tough woman, but not because she came from a place of wearing tight pants and beating up men. She's tough because she had this core emotional story about a life that could have been and never was. To me, that's the way you write a woman in these kinds of movies."

Justin Marks also said Kristin herself is very picky about what she does because she realises young girls look up to her, although he admits writing her into a "very steamy" club scene where she does some "awesome" things to get what she needs.

"We've gone to great lengths to make sure Chun-Li is not just a sex object fantasy for people's desktop backgrounds," continued Marks. "That was something Kristin made very clear, and we're honoured that she's willing to go that route, because it's one of the factors that's going to elevate this above adolescent video-game adaptation.

"That said, did I mention Kristin is gorgeous? And there's one very steamy night club scene where she does awesome things to get the information she needs." Anyone for table tennis, perhaps?

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is filming now and due for release next year, when the game series turns 20 years old.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the previous Street Fighter film in case you're wondering, and takes place entirely in its own world. Marks says we should think of the difference between Batman Begins and Batman and Robin as an example.

He goes on to reveal "there are always plans" to do sequels so he could explore the Street Fighter world further, and believes his debut will be good enough to warrant one.

"Hopefully Street Fighter sets a new standard. I certainly believe it will. It's a game adaptation that takes itself seriously, because the material actually deserves to be taken seriously for those of us who were paying attention to the story and the anime series," concluded Marks.

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