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Fullmetal Alchemist Creator Visits Live-Action Sets Before Filming Ends

posted on by Egan Loo
Hiromu Arakawa draws sketch to mark August 5 visit before shooting ended on August 26

The live-action movie of Hiromu Arakawa's Fullmetal Alchemist manga ended filming on Friday, August 26, but not before Arakawa herself had a chance to visit the sets on August 5.

Principal photography lasted three months — relatively long for Japanese live-action films. The production began filming in Italy in June, and it has been shooting in various locales in Japan.

When Arakawa visited the sets, she talked with the cast and staff, as well as saw the filming of the movie's climax scene. She took deep interest in the elaborate costumes and sets, and surprised the cast and staff with an sketch (pictured above) on a filming board to celebrate her visit.

Italian newspaper La Nazione previously unveiled photos of the film's shooting in the Italian town of Volterra in June.

The film will open in Japan in winter 2017.

Fumihiko Sori (live-action Ping Pong) is directing the film. On adapting the source material, Sori said, "I want to create a style that follows the original manga as much as possible. The cast is entirely Japanese, but the cultural background is Europe. However, it's a style that doesn't represent a specific race or country." Regarding the faithfulness of the adaptation, which has characters of non-Japanese ethnicity, the director said, "There will never be a scene in which a character says something that would identify him/her as Japanese."

The film stars Ryōsuke Yamada (Hey! Say! JUMP member and live-action Assassination Classroom's Nagisa) as Edward Elric, Tsubasa Honda (live-action Blue Spring Ride's Futaba) (pictured top right in image to the right) as Winry Rockbell, and Dean Fujioka (live-action Happy Marriage!?) (pictured bottom left in image to the right) as Roy Mustang. Other cast members include:

  • Fumiyo Kohinata as General Hakuro
  • Ryuta Sato as Maes Hughes
  • Misako Renbutsu as Riza Hawkeye
  • Natsuna as Maria Ross
  • Natsuki Harada as Gracia Hughes
  • Yo Oizumi as Shou Tucker
  • Jun Kunimura as Doctor Marco
  • Yasuko Matsuyuki as Lust
  • Kanata Hongou as Envy
  • Shinji Uchiyama as Gluttony
  • Kenjiro Ishimaru as Father Cornello

The film tells the story in one complete film. Ed is being aged up to 20 years old; he was originally 15 in the manga.

Sori told Oricon he has a deep affection for the story that tells the "truth of living," and said, "It is my dearest wish to turn this wonderful story into a film, and it is not an exaggeration to say that I am living for this reason." He added that he "wants to create a wonderful film that uses techniques that challenge Hollywood," and noted that nowadays Japanese filmmaking techniques have progressed greatly.

Arakawa published the manga from 2001 to 2010 in Square Enix's Monthly Shonen Gangan, and Viz Media released the series in North America and describes the story:

In an alchemical ritual gone wrong, Edward Elric lost his arm and his leg, and his brother Alphonse became nothing but a soul in a suit of armor. Equipped with mechanical “auto-mail” limbs, Edward becomes a state alchemist, seeking the one thing that can restore his and his brother's bodies...the legendary Philosopher's Stone.

The series inspired the Fullmetal Alchemist television anime series in 2003 and its sequel film, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie - Conqueror of Shamballa, in 2005. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, a second television anime series based more closely on the original manga's story, debuted in 2009. A spinoff anime film, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, premiered in 2011.

Source: Comic Natalie


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