Original ‘Street Fighter’ Director Says New Flick Should Be Better

There aren’t a lot of guys out there who can claim to have had a hand in creating such awesomeness as “Die Hard,” “48 Hours” and “Knight Rider” (the old/cool cheesy show, not the new/lame cheesy show). But since Steven E. de Souza was also the man who wrote and directed 1994’s “Street Fighter” movie, we were eager to get his thoughts on how next February’s re-boot film will compare.

“I heard that it’s the story of just Chun-Li,” he said of the film. “That has to make for a better picture.”

“When we were making the original one, they insisted that all of the characters be in the movie,” de Souza remembered with a sigh. “And if you do the math, that gives you about 7 minutes per character if you split it up equally.”

De Souza told us that he’s eager to see Michael Clarke Duncan, Chris Klein, Taboo and the other co-stars in next year’s “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li,” but finds it refreshing that the film will focus mainly on only one of the game series’ army of notable characters. “And then Van Damme was cast [in the ’94 flick],” de Souza remembered. “But he still wasn’t in the whole movie, because it was so overpopulated!”

“I was begging at the time: ‘Couldn’t we just meet some of these people in the sequel?’” he recalled. “Even after we started the movie, they added another character because there was another videogame. So they were like, ‘We have to add Captain Sawada!’”

As refreshingly candid as he is, however, de Souza is confident that his Van Damme flick can reside on the same DVD shelf alongside Taboo’s acting debut. “I’m envious of this group, because they’re able to construct a movie around a single character rather than a three-ring circus that needs to be lassoed with the story,” he insisted. “It’s a rich universe, and I think it can support all of these versions.”

Which do you think will ultimately be remembered more fondly: De Souza’s 1994 flick, or next year’s “Legend of Chun-Li”?