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A Kingdom Hearts Movie Would Automatically Be Facing a Massive Uphill Battle

There looks to be a major push in Kingdom Hearts’ future, and not just through new games. Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link is proceeding through its public tests and still sports a release window set for later in 2024. It’s also possible that Kingdom Hearts 4 could re-emerge soon, with a recent rumor claiming the game is slated for 2025. All of that sounds exciting after years of minimal news, but the rumor mill didn’t stop there. Kingdom Hearts allegedly has a movie in early production, and that’s a big deal for a joint Square Enix and Disney property.

Alleged news about Kingdom Hearts‘ movie, as well as KH4’s possible launch year, came from the Patreon of Twitter user DanielRPK. Daniel is a fairly reliable source and with other leakers corroborating this information it seems that Kingdom Hearts has a chance at being greenlit for the big screen. Assuming it’s legitimate and nothing halts its production, the film is expected to Action-movie-smart/”>smartly embody a live-Action/animated hybrid in the vein of Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Space Jam, though likely with modern Disney CGI instead of traditional animation. That sounds promising, but any adaptation of Kingdom Hearts is bound to struggle with its most prominent quirks.


Kingdom Hearts Shouldn’t Fall Victim To a Star Wars Movie Problem

It’s likely that Kingdom Hearts 4 will feature iconic Star Wars characters, but future games should avoid following in the movies’ footsteps.

Kingdom Hearts Is Hard To Fit Into A Movie

At first, Kingdom Hearts was a straightforward romp through various Disney worlds, spent fighting back the forces of darkness and searching for Sora, Donald, and Goofy’s missing friends. Since then, the Kingdom Hearts series has branched out through multiple conspiracies impacting and facilitated by several casts’ worth of characters, introducing a lot of new context for its old games in the process. Fans are now aware that incorporeal time travel, body-hopping, impersonation, the entirety of Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage, and the beginning of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days were all happening concurrently with KH1, and that’s a lot to take in.

Increasing Complexity Makes Kingdom Hearts Resistant To New Adaptations

One of the most common complaints about
Kingdom Hearts
as a whole is that each new entry seems intent on recontextualizing details from past games while teasing future ones, building a convoluted web that can be hard to track.

Many Kingdom Hearts entries released on different consoles didn’t help the issue, though the modern Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far collection has addressed that. It’s not an insurmountable problem, and Kingdom Hearts 4’s soft setting reset may help, but that won’t be much help to a movie trying to adapt the completed Dark Seeker Saga.

Kingdom Hearts’ Concept Is Better Suited To Long-Form Narrative

Even if the Kingdom Hearts film limits itself to the original game with only the slightest nods to anything else, there’s still a lot of material to adapt. Kingdom Hearts is known for condensing multiple Disney films into its various worlds, and a film trying to tell its story can’t ignore them completely.

Adapting any KH game or trying something original like a Harry Potter-inspired Keyblade Academy would need to include a lot of Disney and Square Enix representation to be authentically Kingdom Hearts. That’s not even getting into the film finding time for even vague coverage of common Kingdom Hearts concepts, like hearts, Keyblades, Gummi Ships, and so on.

A Kingdom Hearts Show Could Have Conveyed It Better

If it sounds like a TV show would be a better fit for Kingdom Hearts than a two-hour movie, that’s because it probably would, and has been attempted before. Not only is there a leaked animatic for an early 2000s Disney-animated Kingdom Hearts pilot, but according to some leaks, the rumored Kingdom Hearts movie also started its life as a series.

Why it assumed a cinematic form is anyone’s guess, as the rise of video game movies has been accompanied by successful shows as well. Regardless, a Kingdom Hearts film accomplishing what it needs to within the constraints of its format will be fascinating to watch, assuming it can make any headway at all.


Kingdom Hearts 4

Kingdom Hearts

PS5 , Xbox Series X|S

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