Justin Marks, writer of the Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li film, is aware that most gamers have wanted to wed Chun-Li (and possibly worse) since we were yay high, but it looks like we can expect a dignified treatment of the leading lady, played by Smallville actress Kristin Kreuk.
But... but what about the infamous anime shower scene?
No, this is actually a good moment to mention something about Chun-Li's depiction in the movie. Basically there are two factors at work. First, I've never seen a successful action movie (in my mind) that blatantly sexualized its female lead and succeeded for its audience. Catwoman, Elektra, the list goes on and on, and I just get a lot of eye-rolling. Then I think back to The Terminator, or possibly my all-time favorite 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.
The interviewer actually appears to have enjoyed the Dead or Alive film, classily stating, "I heard that movie was so good every girl that saw that film on the big screen left the cinema pregnant."
But Marks actually has higher expectations for the Street Fighter flick:
Ah yes. Dead or Alive. Another reason why these game adaptations are so beloved...
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. Of course, there are those out there who just believe Street Fighter is lots of kicking and Hadoukens, and they'll be pleased too because there's plenty of fight sequences. And the fight scenes don't disappoint. I was lucky enough to see a few of them when I was out there a few weeks ago, and Dion Lam, the fight choreographer, has come up with some incredible stuff akin to his work in the Matrix movies.
Perhaps the key to making a decent film adaptation of a video game is developing an understanding of what the material means to its audience - Chun-Li fandom is adoring, not exploitive. At least, that's what I like to think!