Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Interview

A select group of gaming press was recently priveleged with the opportunity of interviewing Hironobu Sakaguchi and Jun Aida, the director and producer of Square's upcoming feature film, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Preview clips of the fully computer-rendered movie have already generated a massive amount of hype, and the press was eager to reveal further details on this exciting project. The following are excerpts from that interview, courtesy of, who was present at the event.

Press: At what point did you first conceive of the idea of the movie, and was that before or after a certain Final Fantasy game?

Sakaguchi: It was about the time when Final Fantasy VII was being created. That was the time when Square got heavily into computer graphics imagery.

Press: Do you see this as the next step to animated movies, or do you feel like you're creating a new type of movie that isn't necessarily based on what animated movies have done in the past?

Sakaguchi: At first, I honestly didn't know what genre of movie I was making, but as we get closer to the final product, I realize that it's nothing like other movies out there. At least that's what I hope people will get out of seeing this movie. (Laughs) I think it's safe to say that it's an entirely new form of movie.

Press: When this movie comes out on DVD, have you thought about including additional features in the DVD?

Sakaguchi: With the PS2 being DVD compatible, we are working on a very interactive product. Namely, you will be able to render certain sequences of the movie in real time, and be your own director, and change camera angles and shots. That's the enhanced interactive capability that our research and development team is producing currently. Hopefully, that will go on the PS2 version of the DVD.

Press: So there will be a dual PlayStation 2 version and a regular DVD version?

Sakaguchi: That's our goal.

Press: Are there any plans to work on a second Final Fantasy movie?

Aida: We're working on the concept of a second feature. We don't have a title yet, but a director just finished a treatment, so we're going to be sharing that with our partner, Columbia Pictures. Our hope is to start the production of a second feature right after we wrap here, which will be next summer.

The full conversation spans three pages, and includes many more questions with Hironobu, as well as discussions with the film's animation director and second producer. The interview can be read in its entirety at Scheduled to premiere in theaters across North America this summer, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within promises not only to be a blockbuster film, but also to change the face of 3D animation as we currently know it.

by Matthew Wanlin
Sources: []
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