When it comes to video game longevity and name-brand recognition around role-playing video games, few franchises can claim to be in the same league as Final Fantasy. Spanning decades now, the series has seen so many iterations and improvements to the game, opening up new stories along the way. And now Giant Freakin Robot has an exciting exclusive from one of our trusted and proven sources. Netflix is continuing with its video game adaptation run and will be developing a live-action Final Fantasy series in the near future.
This is an incredibly exciting development and frankly, considering the video game adaptation landscape, long overdue. While the details around the Final Fantasy live-action series are sparse right now, once the ball gets rolling on something like this, there would possibly be nearly unlimited ways a story could go for this franchise. Having been around for a decade, now (more than thirty years) with storylines releasing nearly every year in some fashion it’s hard to drill down on what this will look like early on for a live-action series.
The original Final Fantasy game was developed by Square Enix back in 1987 and it has had about as successful a run as you’ll ever see in the business. There have been 15 iterations of the original game and nearly countless spin-offs and other stores coming out over the years. It is a treasure trove of source material though one would have to think there would be relative simplicity to start, something more along the lines of the original game that helped to begin world-building.
That being said, because Final Fantasy has been around for so long, with standalone stories, as well as interwoven narratives throughout the years, there’s some possibility we see a complete reimagining of the specific story arc, something that’s set inside the world rather than a direct 1:1 from a previous game. This is the difference in developing an RPG game into a series as opposed to some other property with a more linear story.
Final Fantasy has had many adaptations before, but of late have been only of the anime variety and typically limited to smaller series, though That being said, The Spirits Within was a computer-animated 2001 movie with big expectations and an even bigger budget. Ringing in at $135 million it was, at the time, the most expensive video game adapted movie ever. And it bombed pretty hard, making back *only* $85 million at the box office and finishing below 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. This put a temporary hold on dreaming big around the franchise in terms of big-budget media endeavors, but other smaller adaptations have been released since.
Because Final Fantasy encompasses such a huge time arc in their many games, holding firm to some of the core elements, while also going off-world into the future. They have basked in the medieval past of high fantasy but also been a part of a futuristic piece as well; there are so many ways this new series could go. We will have to wait on word for what Netflix’s plan is for developing Final Fantasy into a series. They’ve had success with The Witcher and are developing a Dragon Age series as well. Making video games a core part of their market moving forward, why not take on one of the longest-lasting games around?