It has been nearly two years since we last had a major update on the adaptation of the hit video game series Saints Row – which is set to be directed by Straight Outta Compton, The Fate of the Furious and Men in Black: International director F. Gary Gray.
Now, in an interview with Collider, writer Greg Russo, who has also penned the script for the upcoming reboot of Mortal Kombat for Warner Bros, revealed that the film will take inspiration from other films including The Warriors and Escape From New York.
“I think from a storytelling perspective, it was two things. The tricky thing with something like Saints Row is gonna be tone, right away. ‘Cause if you know the franchise, you know that it basically had two tones. It has more of the gritty tone, which is the first couple [games], and then it goes kind of bonkers and just absolutely insane. And so, we wanted to make sure that we weren’t isolating either of those. So it’s about just trying to find the tonal balance where you have real characters, real stakes — again, that was part of it with Mortal Kombat, too. You want it to feel real, you want the characters to feel real, as much as possible. But you also wanna lean into what made it fun, and lean into that craziness. So part of it was trying to figure out that tone, which I think it’s finally gotten into a place where it makes sense. And then it was a matter of, ‘What kind of movie is this? Because how do you take an open-world [game] and tell a story?’ So I looked at different films that I really love. I’m a big fan of ’70s cinema, so I looked at The Warriors, I looked at Escape From New York — just some of those classics. And I said, ‘Well, how do we pull from some of those and tell our own unique story?’ So I’m excited for it. We’ll see.”
Russo continued to provide nothing but praise for the director and his approach to the project.
“It’s a tricky one, right? I love the franchise, I’ve played all the games, huge fan of it. And we have a director, F. Gary Gray, who’s attached to it, who’s an amazing, visionary director. He’s done some incredible [films], some of my favourite films, including Set It Off, which I still think is one of the best. It’s fantastic. So he’s got a great vision for it, he knows what he wants to do.”
Saints Row, which is developed by Volition and published by Deep Silver, “tells the story of the rise of the Third Street Saints as they battle rival gangs in an attempt to conquer the fictional cities of Stilwater and Steelport.” The series has become one of the biggest successes in the video game industry with four titles in the franchise and a fifth game currently in development.