There’s still just over a year to go until Duncan Jones’ Warcraft arrives in movie theatres, and all concerned will hope the adaptation of the famed MMORPG has more success than other video game-inspired films. Which shouldn’t be too difficult.
Exhibit A – Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.
Released in July 2001, The Spirits Within splashed the cash – $137 million or more – to reimagine the role-playing series of Final Fantasy video games for the big screen, with the computer animation required to render its characters in a photoreal way eating up most of the budget.
Alas, the cutting-edge design and visual spectacle drifted into uncanny valley territory, and the film’s plot was a confusing slog. So it was that a four-year labour of love tanked on such a scale as to bankrupt Tokyo-based subsidiary Square Pictures. Some sources post the eventual financial loss as high as $80-90 million, but whatever the final figure Final Fantasy lost enough money to make many a blockbuster flops list.