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Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV – Interview with Director Takeshi Nozue

Alessio Palumbo
Posted Aug 31, 2016
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Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, the movie produced by Square Enix and released digitally today, is part of the larger Final Fantasy XV universe. As you probably know already, the story of FFXV (originally titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII) was so large that it was initially meant to span over multiple games.

However, Square Enix decided to launch a multimedia project that would still deliver those stories to fans. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is a crucial part of this project, releasing three months before the actual game; its story focuses on Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII, the father of the game’s protagonist (Noctis), and his titular elite guard Kingsglaive.

Here’s the official synopsis:

The magical kingdom of Lucis is home to the hallowed Crystal, but the menacing empire of Niflheim will stop at nothing to make it theirs. War has raged between the two for as long as most can remember. King Regis of Lucis commands an elite force of soldiers dubbed the Kingsglaive. Wielding their king’s magic, Nyx Ulric and his fellow glaives stand before the crown city of Insomnia, fighting to stay the inexorable advance of Niflheim’s imperial army. Before the overwhelming military might of the empire, King Regis can only salvage his kingdom by accepting an ultimatum-he must cede all lands outside the crown city, and see his son, Prince Noctis, wed to Lady Lunafreya, the former princess of Tenebrae now captive of Niflheim. As the war of wills rages, the machinations of Niflheim transform Insomnia into an awe-inspiring battleground, pulling Nyx into a struggle for the very survival of the kingdom..

We’ve reviewed the movie a few days ago and today we’re happy to publish an exclusive interview with Director Takeshi Nozue.

You’ve worked on Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children before. What kind of differences in production did you notice when making KINGSGLAIVE?
The biggest difference is that I served as co-director with Tetsuya Nomura on Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, whereas I am the sole director of Kingsglaive, meaning I’m responsible for a whole lot more.

What were your main objectives with KINGSGLAIVE, and do you feel like you’ve fully accomplished them now that the movie is about to be released?
Our main objective was to reach out and engage fans who might have played FINAL FANTASY games before, but had grown estranged from the series, but only time will tell how well we’ve accomplished that.

What’s the single aspect of the film you’re most proud of?
I’m most proud that we were able to break new ground for Final Fantasy with realistic character designs. Our previous characters tended a bit more toward fiction in appearance and presentation, but I think we’ve outdone ourselves in terms of how lifelike our characters appear this time.

How was it working with accomplished actors like Sean Bean, Lena Headey and Aaron Paul?
Well, it goes without saying that they all turned in riveting performances, which was wonderful. I could tell as we were recording that they’d poured time into really discovering their characters, and it was an honor to work with such dedicated professionals. You would think celebrity talent might add pressure to the situation, but Sean, Aaron and Lena were all wonderfully accommodating and really made the crew feel at home during their sessions. It was fun!

What are the odds of Square Enix producing additional movies with the same characters? Did you discuss this with Square Enix and if so, would you be interested in coming back as a director?
There’s nothing like that in the works right now, but if our fans cry out for it, I’m happy to do it.

You’ve also worked on Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II as the movie director. Would you like to direct an actual film based on Kingdom Hearts if such a project was greenlighted?
Answering the call of the audience matters more to me than working a particular franchise. Kingdom Hearts or not, if it’s something the fans want, I’m happy to give it a try.

Is there anything you’d like to say to Final Fantasy fans who are eagerly waiting for KINGSGLAIVE and Final Fantasy XV itself?
The teams of both Kingsglaive and Final Fantasy XV have worked hard to make this the best Final Fantasy experience to date, and we hope fans are willing to welcome this new form of Final Fantasy. The spirit of the Final Fantasy has always been to challenge the norm and go beyond, which we’ve definitely aimed for here. I hope you enjoy what you see.

Thank you for your time.

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