New Escaflowne, Final Fantasy movie details announced

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New information was recently revealed about the much anticipated movie version of Escaflowne: A girl in Gaea. Set for release in 2000, according to a special flyer printed for distribution by AnimeVillage at Anime Expo, the movie version will sport an all-new storyline, making it self-contained from the television series.

The new plotline features the Zaibach Empire (now renamed the Tribe of the Black Dragon) attacking Prince Van's kingdom, who then retaliates as a descendant of the white winged dragon. He finds a friend in the ruler of a neighboring country, Abaharaki, who aids in his attack on the Black Dragon when they discover an attempt to restart an ancient Dragon armor that is believed to have obliterated the world of Gaea previously. Van is still very reclusive, until Hitomi (now a nearly suicidal girl wishing to vanish) is taken to the world of Gaea. Then there's the matter of the legendary white Dragon armor... Escaflowne.

The movie version will share most of the crew from the popular 1996 TV series, including new character designs by Nobuteru Yuki (Lodoss War, X, Battle Angel), new mecha designs by Kimitoshi Yamane, and a new soundtrack by Yoko Kanno.

In other news, Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine has printed the supposed English cast for the all-CG movie version of Final Fantasy (which will have nothing to do with any of the self-contained games). Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October) and Ving Rhames (Mission: Impossible) will play key roles, although no character or plot information has become available. Other cast members include Ming-Na Wen (Mulan), James Woods (Contact), Donald Sutherland (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Steve Buscemi (Armageddon), and Peri Gilpin (Fraiser).

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