Lights, Camera, Chocobos: The Rise and Fall of the Live-Action Final Fantasy 14 TV Series
Lights, camera, action! In 2019, the gaming world was abuzz with the news of a live-action adaptation of Final Fantasy 14, the MMORPG that has enchant...
Lights, camera, action! In 2019, the gaming world was abuzz with the news of a live-action adaptation of Final Fantasy 14, the MMORPG that has enchanted players with its expanded free trial and captivating adventures. It was a match made in heaven, or so it seemed, with Sony Pictures Television and the talented folks at Hivemind (the masterminds behind Netflix's The Witcher series) joining forces.
But alas, dear adventurers, it appears that this particular project has met an untimely demise. Dinesh Shamdasani, co-founder of Hivemind, took to Twitter to deliver the somber news. When asked about the progress of the Final Fantasy 14 TV series, his response was as blunt as a blunt-edged sword: "Dead." Ouch. But he didn't stop there. Shamdasani went on to share the unfortunate details—how they had a fantastic pilot script by the talented duo Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton, along with a carefully crafted multi-season plan. Yet, despite their efforts, the project was rejected by every corner of the industry. It seems the grandeur and scale required to do justice to the world of Final Fantasy 14 proved too daunting for the risk-averse decision-makers. The closest contender? Amazon. Almost, but not quite.
Ah, the bane of our existence—Covid. Jake Thornton, a scriptwriter on the project, lamented the ill-fated timing. Just as they were ready to bring Final Fantasy 14 to life, the studios began tightening their purse strings. It was like trying to cast a spell with one hand tied behind your back. The pandemic had dealt a devastating blow, leaving our dreams of a live-action Eorzea shattered.
But let's take a moment to reflect, my friends. Is this truly a loss, or a blessing in disguise? As much as I yearn to share the world of Final Fantasy 14 with others, I can't help but wonder if the fantastical realm we hold dear would lose its magic on the small screen. The Witcher's Netflix series thrived because it had a grounded setting, allowing its monsters, environments, and special effects to be more subdued. But Final Fantasy 14? Oh, the challenges it would present! Imagine bringing Garlean war machines, skyscraper-sized crystals, ancient ruins, and primals to life. It would be a production nightmare! And let's not forget the beloved Tataru or the pint-sized lalafells. Live-action adaptations run the risk of venturing into the treacherous realm of uncanny valley, where nightmares are born.
No, my fellow adventurers, I dare say Final Fantasy 14 is better suited for an anime or 3D adaptation. Something that can capture the essence of the game without the perils of cosplay vibes. Picture it—imagine a stunningly animated world akin to Sousou no Frieren or Arcane, where the artistry and style bring Eorzea to life in all its glory. No need to worry about practical costuming or awkward special effects. The potential for a truly immersive experience is boundless. Besides, we've all seen the live-action Estinien, and while impressive, I'm not convinced it would work for the entire cast.
So fear not, my friends! Though the live-action Final Fantasy 14 TV series may have faltered, our dreams of sharing the wonders of Eorzea are far from over. Let us embrace the possibilities of other mediums, where the boundaries of imagination can be pushed to their limits. The world of Final Fantasy 14 is too vast, too extraordinary, to be confined to the limitations of live-action. So let us raise our virtual swords and continue our adventures through the ever-expanding realm of Final Fantasy, where dreams are limitless and the magic is real.