Fumihiko Sori, whose live-action film of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga is due to begin filming in a matter of days, has unveiled more details about his latest directorial project to the Japanese entertainment website Oricon. For one, he revealed that the film will not be in two parts, as with past live-action adaptations such as Attack on Titan or Chihayafuru, but rather the story will be told in one complete film. Ed’s age will also be bucking the trend, as it turns out – while he was 15 in Hiromu Arakawa’s manga, for the film he will be 20.
Sori told Oricon in their interview posted on Saturday (May 28th) that he has a strong affection for the story which tells the “truth of living”. He enthused that “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.” He clearly has great ambition for this production, as he added that he “wants to create a wonderful film that will use techniques that challenge Hollywood”, indicating that Japanese filmmaking techniques have progressed greatly in recent years.
It’s long since been revealed that CG will make up a considerable amount of the representation of Fullmetal Alchemist‘s world for the film. But while Sori has used CG many times before in ways that wouldn’t be noticed explicitly, he now plans to put to use a type of CG that he wants the audience to see. Both approaches will be used in tandem and in great amounts.
Following the original manga as faithfully as possible is a goal that Sori is passionate about attaining, but fans have claimed that this is contradicted by the fully Japanese cast in a setting where many of the characters are of European descent. However, the director said “There will never be a scene in which a character says something that would identify him/her as Japanese.” He’s also previously stated his certainty that viewers will be satisfied with how Alphonse is portrayed in particular.
Filming is planned to wrap up in Japan in the latter half of August, with the Japanese premiere projected to follow in winter 2017. The movie stars Ryosuke Yamada of the live-action Assassination Classroom as Edward Elric, Tsubasa Honda of the live-action Blue Spring Ride as Winry Rockbell, and Dean Fujioka of the live-action Happy Marriage!? as Roy Mustang. The extended cast list was previously announced by Warner Brothers Japan.