Adapting an anime to live action is a risky proposition. It requires a delicate alchemy that can either lead to successes like Rurouni Kenshin, acceptable simulacra like Ghost in the Shell, or nightmarish abominations like Dragonball Evolution. Naturally, when it was announced that Warner Bros. was making a live action version of the critically acclaimed, mega-popular anime and manga series Fullmetal Alchemist, fans were worried that the end result would be sadder than Nina Tucker. Thankfully, it seems that Warner Bros. spent an arm and a leg on this film, and the new trailer for the anime adaptation not only gives us a look at the titular alchemist Edward Elric (Ryosuke Yamada) and his armor-clad brother Alphonse, but also our first look at three of the film’s terrifying villains, the Homunculi– Lust (Yasuko Matsuyuki), Envy (Kanata Hongō), and Gluttony (Shinji Uchiyama)–who look like they’ve been ripped straight from the pages of the original manga. And if there’s one thing that we know anime/manga fans love more than anything, it’s remaining faithful to the source material.
In addition to these menacing new villains, anime and manga fans will be pleased to see familiar faces like Roy Mustang (Dean Fujioka), Riza Hawkeye (Misako Renbutsu), Maes Hughes (Ryuta Sato), and Winry Rockbell (Tsubasa Honda). That’s all well and good, but if I don’t get to see a musclebound Alex Louis Armstrong flexing on every single State Military member he encounters, then why even bother to make this in live action in the first place? I mean, just look at this.
For those of you not in the know, this Fullmetal Alchemist adaptation is based on the manga of the same name by Hiromu Arakawa. The manga, which has inspired two incredibly successful anime series, tells the story of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, whose attempt to bring their mother back from the dead using alchemy yields disastrous results. As a result, Edward loses and arm and a leg, which are replaced by prosthetic metal limbs, and Alphonse loses his entire body, leaving him little more than a soul bound to a suit of armor.
In order to restore their bodies to their original form, the brothers set out to become State Alchemists (a fancy term for “science wizard cops”) and discover the location of the Philosopher’s Stone, a legendary artifact that may help them in their quest. In the process, though, they uncover a web of corruption, lies, and murder that threatens the fate of the world itself.
Fullmetal Alchemist opens in Japanese theaters on December 1, 2017.