A previously announced live-action television adaptation of Square Enix’s successful MMO, Final Fantasy XIV, is dead in the water. So says the co-founder of the production company behind the project, Hivemind.
First announced in 2019, the FFXIV show was being developed by Square Enix, Sony Pictures Television, and production company Hivemind Entertainment—the same company behind Netflix’s Witcher series and Amazon’s Expanse show. It was planned to be a live-action series that would tell an original story set in the world of FFXIV, Eorzea. A press release in 2019 said the show would explore “the struggle between magic and technology in a quest to bring peace to a land in conflict.” When it was announced, there was no release date or even a streaming service attached. And now, after years of radio silence, the project is seemingly never going to happen, the people involved unable to find anyone willing to flip the bill for the ambitious series.
On January 23, Hivemind’s co-founder Dinesh Shamdasani was asked about the status of the live-action series on Twitter/X/whatever and replied that it was “dead.”
“We took around a fantastic pilot script by Ben Lustig and Jake Thornton along with a multi-season plan they built with our showrunners but got rejected across the board,” Shamdasani added. “The size and scale needed to do it right proved too much for anyone to want to risk.”
You can blame covid-19, too
According to Shamdasani, Amazon was the streamer who got the closest to saying yes and making the FFXIV show a reality. But it didn’t happen, partly due to its size, but also because—as explained by writer Jake Thornton—Covid threw a wrench in the works right as they were trying to sell the series.
“It was a real result of Covid, unfortunately,” said Thornton. “We took it out just as studios began to zip up their purse strings.” [Editor’s note: How do you zip up purse strings? That’s a weird bag.]
When someone asked the co-founder of Hivemind if an animated series could still happen, he tossed cold water on the idea, saying: “Harder [to be honest] and the rights are back in Japan, unfortunately.”
So ends the mostly uneventful saga of FFXIV’s live-action TV show. I do wonder, in a post-Last of Us/Witcher/Arcane world, if someone was trying to make that 2019 show today if it would have survived, found a streamer, and become a reality. But, based on some of the live-action video game adaptations we’ve gotten over the last decade, maybe we all dodged a fireball spell.