Hironobu Sakaguchi, director of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and big-cheese of Final Fantasy game development, took time off from his sojourn in California last week to sit down with the L.A.Times and discuss the movie and his 33 million-selling game franchise.
Sakaguchi spoke of the death of this mother, and the profound effect that this had on him. This personal tragedy prompted him to explore the metaphysical nature of life, and served as the impetus for both Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and recent Final Fantasy games, providing a theme that "is a bit more sophisticated, a bit more mature." He noted that the movie's story is intentionally vague and contains "a lot of ambiguity," giving viewers the chance to figure it out for themselves. From a technical standpoint, the director revealed that the he saw the movie initially as a challenge, to push image rendering technology as far as possible.
Despite the critical slamming of the film of late, Sakaguchi stated that he intends to pursue motion pictures in the future, perhaps even with the same characters. He mentioned that one of his ideas is to use Aki and Sid as virtual actors, and cast them in different movies.
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was developed by Square Honolulu, and the movie was made in English. Sakaguchi defended this apparent snubbing of his native film industry by stating that "the Japanese movie industry is dismal," and that the audiences there are less likely to frequent movie theaters than their American counterparts. He did go on to say that there is, obviously, some Japanese influence on his style of movie-making.
As reported earlier, technology used during production of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within has been incorporated into game development. He went on to joke that there was a professional rivalry between the movie and game teams, with each trying to outdo the other. This bodes well for Final Fantasy X, which is set for release in Japan this week.
Check back with RPGamer on Monday as we find out how the movie has fared in North America, when the official ticket-sales for the weekend are released. Square executives mentioned previously that the movie needs to finish in the top 20 to 30 movies of the year to be successful. Since the majority of a movie's business is done in the first fortnight, we'll soon see whether they're going to be reaching for the champagne or the Pepto Bismol.