A Persona Live-Action may be coming our way in the not too distant future. Live-action films of video games tend to never be as good as the original source material. I’m looking at you Resident Evil. But Sega is considering making Atlus titles into films (according to this IGN story), which may include the Persona series. This comes following the success of the Sonic moves and also the 25th celebration of Persona.
Why so Cynical?
One of the most memorable failures of games turned into live-action films is Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Square Enix went safe by creating a new story rather than reuse material from their catalog of games.
The Film did not feel like a Final Fantasy adventure due to its themes, characters, and overall setting. On top of this Square Enix used a huge budget to be able to create a full CGI film. The film was a flop and had a major impact on Square Enix and its next few games.
Another example of a poorly received Live-action film is Monster Hunter. The games are focused on hunting monsters using primitive weapons. And the civilizations aren’t very advanced in specific aspects. The film ignored this and started in a present-day city with a group of soldiers being teleported into Monster Hunter World. Luckily for the series, they had just released Monster Hunter World which boosted the popularity of the series. Which Monster Hunter Rise is feeding off. Let’s hope Persona live-action keeps close to the themes of the games.
But All is Not Bad
Square Enix did get it right with Advent Children. A film based after the events of Final Fantasy VII. Even though it wasn’t true live-action it was a great film to experience. The action sequences, the characters, and all the elements were very Final Fantasy-like. It was very close to not receiving a western release due to the poor reception of The Spirits Within.
The Persona games have previously been made into direct-to DVD Anime boxsets. Due to the length of the games and the lore that needs to be built up. A short TV series would be more than suitable. It wouldn’t feel as rushed as a film, and it wouldn’t be as drawn out as a longer series. And short series are becoming increasingly popular such as Stranger Things and Arcane. So is a Persona 5 live-action Netflix series on the cards? Or will we be stuck with the Persona 5 anime?
Live-Action Source Material
Sega/Atlus have plenty of material to use for a Persona live-action film. But should they use it? In my opinion, I believe they should create a completely new setting using Persona as the main focus of the series. The relationships between the main protagonist and everyone else will be very important to the film/TV. But the main protagonist should only have one Persona. That way the Persona and the person will be more recognizable to the audience.
Compared to Sonic, however, Persona’s themes are mature. Usually suited to teens and older. This will limit the audience for the potential film/tv series. If they try to dumb it down, it could alienate the Persona fans, but with the potential to get more fans. Pokemon Detective Pikachu is a great example of balancing a everyone rating while keeping parents entertained. Though Pokemon has a larger fan base of all ages.
So what do you think about a Persona Live-Action film? Are you looking forward to the potential or are you concerned it could ruin the series?