We live in an odd age wherein which the Anime/Manga live-action film adaptation is something that appears quite a lot. Sure, It would have happened in the past a whole bunch as well, but I’m not living in the past, I’m living in the present, and soon I’ll be living in the future, but by that time I’ll just be calling it the present, and all I care about is that! While live-action films like Takashi Miike’s Ace Attorney and Keishi Ohtomo’s Rurouni Kenshin Trilogy are seen as some of the more faithful adaptation of their source material, the world seems to want to focus on the travesties like Dragon Ball: Evolution, and the duo of Attack On Titan live-action films.
When it was announced that Fullmetal Alchemist was receiving it’s very own live-action adaptation, the internet exploded into an uproar the likes of which we havn’t seen since the last time a live-action adaptation was announced. Almost instantly, this film was written off as just another disappointment to add to the already long list of disappointments, and despite the fact that I may have been on that side of the fence early on in the piece, the simple fact of the matter is; the film isn’t out yet! It’s not even close!
Director of the upcoming film, Fumihiko Sori, is well-aware of the audience’s reaction to the news of it’s existence, and as somewhat of a way to calm the masses he has revealed more about the film to entertainment site Oricon over the weekend that has just passed. Sori has confirmed that, unlike many other films of this kind, the story of his Fullmetal Alchemist will not be told in multiple films. Instead he intends to tell the story, whatever that may be, in one single complete film.
This piece of information has, as you may have already guessed, sent fans on another whirlwind of rage complaining about the justified problem of Fullmetal Alchemist being too grand a story to fit into a two-hour film. Though, in saying that, if you believed it was going to be the same Fullmetal Alchemist story that was featured in the Anime and Manga…you’ve got another thing coming.
Edward Elric, series protagonist, will no longer be a fifteen year old boy. Instead his age will be added to, and his character will be written as a twenty year old. In the grand scheme of things; this change isn’t as drastic as many other features of the story will be. Hopefully this will not mean that Ed’s somewhat childish and naive tendencies will not be written out of his character considering it’s a part of what makes his growth so rewarding. Sori also made a bold statement saying that audiences will very much enjoy the way Alphonse is portrayed in the film, which has already been confirmed to rely entirely on computer generated animation.
On the topic of CGI; Sori also made mention of the fact that he plans to use a great deal of “noticeable” CGI throughout the film, stating that, in past films, he used a level of it that audiences couldn’t necessarily notice, but he will make sure that for Fullmetal Alchemist you will know that it is what it is; something I’m not too sure is a good thing, but I’m certain that some elements of his comment were lost in translation. Surely what he intended to say was what has already been said; that CGI will be used greatly in this film. Simple.
Many people are already hating on the so far unreleased Fullmetal Alchemist live-action adaptation, and I feel as though nothing that I have detailed to you above has changed the views of those who have already written this film off as a failure…but there is one quote from Sori I have not yet featured in this article that I have purposefully saved for the end because I feel as though it speaks volumes about his love for the source material and his dedication to the upcoming film: “It is my dearest wish to turn this wonderful story into a film, and it is not an exaggeration to say that I am living for this reason alone.”
Now if that doesn’t warm your heart, then I simply don’t know what will. Truly this film as a passion project for the man behind it’s development. Fullmetal Alchemist hit it’s peak many years ago, and although it is still incredibly popular today, it’s prime window for a live-action film adaptation closed some time ago. Of course, the film will still make a great deal of money, with Anime fans mostly unaware of Fullmetal Alchemist still going to see it simply for it’s sheer spectacle value, but I feel like an adaptation would have been far more justified during it’s peak period.
This, I believe, is actually a comment on Sori’s devotion to the project and true feelings for the series, making this film at a time such as this; long after the release of the film but not long enough for it to be considered a re-make of a “classic“, and at a detrimental time for any director to reveal that he or she is planning on adapting an Anime or Manga series. If anything, allow that to somewhat sway your judgement of this film at least until it proves itself otherwise.