Here’s what is known about the reported Kingdom Hearts movie

Woody stopping Toy Sora in Kingdom Hearts 3 with text caption

Reports claim that Disney is turning Kingdom Hearts into a movie, but what could its release date be and will it even happen?

Kingdom Hearts is one of the strangest success stories in video game history. Its success is surprising not because it’s two companies with a trove of iconic characters between them, but because of how the creators manage to make the fusion work. After all, Final Fantasy is as JRPG as it gets, with complex lore, flashy combat, and wordy monologues. Meanwhile, Disney has Goofy and Donald. 

Still, the franchise has exceeded every expectation and, as of March 2022, has sold over 36 million units worldwide. Kingdom Hearts has had over a dozen releases since its 2002 launch, as well as manga adaptations and even novels. Strangely, Kingdom Hearts has yet to receive any on-screen adaptation but recent reports suggest Kingdom Hearts will return with a silver screen debut.

Is the Kingdom Hearts movie in development?

Disney reportedly has a Kingdom Hearts movie in development.

DisInsider’s Skyler Shuler reports Disney has begun development on a Kingdom Hearts movie, which comes after previous reports of a Kingdom Hearts adaptation being in the works from a prominent MCU leaker. Disney has not confirmed any details regarding anything related to Kingdom Hearts beyond officially announced games.

The idea of an animated Kingdom Hearts adaptation has been in limbo for decades now. As early as 2003, a year after the first Kingdom Hearts game launched, a team pitched an animated TV series pilot to the Disney Channel. The original cast reprised their roles for the pilot except for Haley Joel Osment, who was unavailable during the animatic’s development. Unfortunately for fans, the series never got greenlit. 

Hope for a new adaptation resurged in 2020 when reports of a Disney+ series made the rounds online. Unlike the hand-drawn 2003 pilot, the new series would be CGI, much like Sonic Boom or Arcane. Disney reportedly wanted the development to be “in-house,” but it didn’t work out, leading to Square Enix taking the helm. It’s unclear how long the video game publisher worked on it, and whether the company is part of developing this reported film.

Fans skeptical that Kingdom Hearts’ will translate to film

The reports of Disney turning the Kingdom Hearts series into a movie weren’t very popular among fans.

After all, the Kingdom Hearts franchise has a notorious reputation for its complex lore built around . While the series was originally a wacky adventure, it became a sprawling story involving Stuffing all that information into a feature-length film could lead to a bloated adaptation.

Alternatively, the film may ignore parts of the lore altogether in favor of its own continuity. Given how resistant to change fandoms are in the best of times, that’s not a very appealing prospect either. Although video game films have achieved incredible success these past few years, Disney’s attempts with Prince of Persia and Need for Speed weren’t exactly hits.

Kingdom Hearts movie release date info

There’s no estimated release date for a Kingdom Hearts movie.

Even within the reports, the movie hasn’t even officially been greenlit yet. It’s unknown where it is in development and how likely the film is to be approved. There have been countless instances of films being scripted and cast, then never actually coming together.

If things move smoothly and quickly, it’s still likely to be years in the making. The Super Mario Bros Movie started production in 2020 and was released in April 2023 but other films take even longer. Lightyear from Pixar was in development for over five years. Even if a Kingdom Hearts movie gets the green light, fans won’t be seeing it any time soon.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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