Even if you haven't watched or liked it, you cannot deny the fact that Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the most recognizable and most popular anime shows in the world. It is currently ranked #181 on MAL while its alternate version Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood holds the second place on MAL with more than half a million fans.
With a fan-base so strong and with so many live-action adaptations of even less popular anime being released every year, it is logical to assume that an FMA film is inevitable. Well, the wait is over, because it has finally been green-lighted and the film will be hitting the cinemas in the summer of next year!
The Announced Cast
The role of the short and feisty Edward Elric has been given to Yamada Ryosuke, a 22-year-old Japanese actor and member of a boy band Hey! Say! JUMP. Yamada starred as Nagisa in the live-action adaptation of Assassination Classroom and won the Rookie Actor Award for it. With his height of 165 cm. (5'4"), he doesn't seem as a bad choice for the role, but his acting skill remains debatable.
The rest of the staff is still unknown, besides the director Fumihiko Sori, notable for winning the Best Director Prize at the Japanese Academy Awards for Ping Pong (the live-action adaptation of the manga of the same name). He is also notable for directing a couple of sci-fi and action anime films.
According to Daily Cyzo, it has also been announced that there will be heavy use of CGI in order to recreate Alphonse's armor and make it as detailed as possible, alongside other fantastic elements included in the anime.
Expectations: A Dream or Disaster Come True?
So what may go wrong? Probably the same that many feared about Attack on Titan live-action adaptation - the overuse of CGI and the Japanese actors cast in obviously non-Japanese roles that might end up destroying all the hype.
What Attack on Titan and FMA have in common is the unique Westernized setting plus many fantastic and action elements. It is very possible that they pull off the latter with some really good CGI and advanced technology, but the first cannot be pulled off so easily.
It is still unknown whether Yamada Ryosuke will wear a blond wig, and if the answer is yes, will he be able to pull it off? But if the answer happens to be no, then we won't see the long blond braid that is trademark of Edward Elric... Additionally, there are many other Westernized characters that may end up looking ridiculous if played by Asian actors, such as: Armstrong, Riza, the father of Elric brothers, Winry etc.
The fans of FMA are probably divided into two groups - those who are scared and wish for it to never happen; and those who are curious and always look forward to more adaptations. According to the comments of FMA fans all over the net, it seems that the majority belongs to the first group of people who are not really impressed with the news...
All in all, it is better to just wait and see because who knows, perhaps the film becomes a nice surprise and we all end up enjoying it more than we expected. And if we don't, it won't be the end of the world anyway. Hopefully. Until then...