Live-Action 'Final Fantasy' TV Series Is In The Works, Based On The World Of 'Final Fantasy 14'

It took 32 years, but we'll finally find out what real-life Chocobos look like. For the first time since the Final Fantasy video game franchise debuted in 1987, a live-action Final Fantasy TV series will be gracing our screens. Sony Pictures Television and Hivemind, the production company behind Amazon's The Expanse and Netflix's The Witcher, are teaming up to develop the very first live-action Final Fantasy show, based on the world of Final Fantasy XIV.

Sony Pictures TV and Hivemind are developing the very first live-action Final Fantasy TV series, but it won't be based on any of the franchise's most popular games. That means no live-action Cloud and his signature spiky hair from Final Fantasy VII or real-life depictions of Blitzball from Final Fantasy X. The upcoming Final Fantasy series will instead be based on the 14th installment of the fantasy video game franchise, which was released in 2010 to infamously poor reception. But Final Fantasy XIV returned to the public consciousness through the infinitely better received 2013 MMORPG A Realm Reborn, with new expansions — the latest coming in 2019 — enriching the world of the game.

It's that world of Eorzea in which the Final Fantasy TV series will be based, following an original story exploring "the struggle between magic and technology in a quest to bring peace to a land in conflict." Plot details are being kept quiet for now, but the press release promises the "iconic hallmarks" of the franchise's mythology including "magitek and beastmen, airships and chocobos," and of course, the live-action debut of Cid, the beloved grizzled anti-hero who has appeared in nearly every Final Fantasy game.

"FINAL FANTASY XIV and Eorzea are the perfect gateway into FINAL FANTASY for longtime fans and newcomers alike," said Sony Pictures Television Co-President Chris Parnell, adding:

"This show is about embracing and embodying all of the elements that have made the mythos such an endlessly captivating phenomenon, and it's an immense honor to be bringing all of Eorzea's iconic characters, settings, and concepts – including fan-favorites like Cid and, of course, the chocobos – to life for a television audience."

Jason Brown, the co-founder and co-president of Hivemind, which, between this and Netflix's The Witcher, appears to be becoming the prime production company for video game adaptations, added that "Television is the ideal medium to capture the extraordinary depth, sophisticated themes, and unparalleled imagination of FINAL FANTASY and its multitude of unique and fully realized characters."

The Final Fantasy franchise hasn't had the best of luck on the big or small screen. The Square Enix franchise has made forays into anime and CGI feature films, with Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals, released as an anime OVA sequel to Final Fantasy V, receiving a mixed reception in 1994. But it was the CGI-animated Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within 2001 feature film that notoriously bombed at the box office and nearly killed Square Enix's big-screen dreams — though it was later salvaged by the surprisingly good Final Fantasy VII sequel film Advent Children. TV is a brand new world for Final Fantasy however, not to mention live-action TV. The rich worlds of the games are so intricately designed and jam-packed with imagery that the prospect of a live-action adaptation is overwhelming — how could reality do justice to the surreal worlds of Final Fantasy?

But this is an exciting prospect nevertheless, especially as the Final Fantasy franchise is enjoying a reinvigorated wave of attention on the heels of a fresh look at the upcoming Final Fantasy VII remake at E3 earlier this month. While Final Fantasy doesn't have quite the standing that it used to, it is still one of the most popular gaming franchises of all time, having sold more than 144 million units worldwide.

It has not yet been announced when this series is expected to hit, or where it will air, but watch this space for updates on the Final Fantasy series.