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SEGA video game classic 'Toejam & Earl' is becoming a movie thanks to NBA star Steph Curry
Video game-based intergalactic funk spins toward the small screen with a screenplay from the writers of Hotel Transylvania 4.
A pair of funky-fresh E.T. rappers are dropping their video game controllers in favor of the TV remote. Yep, old-school SEGA Genesis icons ToeJam & Earl are reportedly getting their very own feature film at Amazon, with a stats-boosting assist from Stephan Curry’s Unanimous Media production company.
Now that sounds like a slam dunk (sorry) idea.
Via The Hollywood Reporter, the dynamic alien duo will spin the story of their interplanetary search for a cure to their beat-killing blues in the upcoming small-screen film. Amos Vernon and Nunzio Randazzo, who (alongside Genndy Tartakovsky) penned the screenplay for this year’s Hotel Transylvania: Transformania sequel, are reportedly on board to write the movie, with no word yet on casting or a director.
For the unacquainted, ToeJam & Earl debuted in 1991 as a SEGA original video game featuring the titular pair of groove-loving alien rappers, who end up on Earth in search of the answer to the music-squelching malady that’s begun plaguing their native planet. Created by designer Greg Johnson and programmer Mark Voorsanger, that first Genesis game got booties bumpin’ with a surprisingly solid soundtrack infused with hip-hop and funk vibes, inspiring a pair of sequels and spinning the duo toward cult-classic status as the kind of quirky, offbeat mascots that felt perfectly at home on SEGA’s Nintendo-alternative console.
The synopsis for the upcoming movie, according to the THR, sets ToeJam & Earl on a journey across space that tweaks their native planet’s slightly twisted notion of what Earth — fabled to be “the Paradise where the music that created their culture originated,” as it teases, is really all about.
“Unfortunately for our heroes, not only do they wreck their ship, but they find that Earth is…well, not the haven they expected. But the music — that part was true. So begins their quest to find as much of that music as they can in the hope of saving their planet, and maybe ours as well.” In other words, it’s a chance for SEGA’s rhyme-minded aliens to star in a feature film story that narrates what fans have long loved about the video games.
ToeJam & Earl will reportedly touch down as a joint production of Unanimous Media (Curry’s multimedia company) in conjunction with the recently-hatched Story Kitchen studio. Launched in October as a joint venture between John Wick creator Derek Kolstad, Sonic the Hedgehog film producer Dmitri M. Johnson, and entertainment agency veteran Mike Goldberg, Story Kitchen aims to be “hyperfocused on the creation and amplification of ‘world-building action’ and ‘non-traditional intellectual property,’” according to Deadline.
As retro gaming fans can attest, a movie based on ToeJam & Earl definitely fits that description. Amazon hasn’t dropped the needle yet on a release date, so now’s the time to dive back into your SEGA deep-cuts catalog and relive the retro adventure before the funky pair’s big date with movie destiny.
Looking for more weird alien action? Check out SYFY's Resident Alien, with seasons 1-2 streaming now on Peacock. A third season is on the way in 2023.