A-list talent voicing Col ‘Fantasy’ toon

Baldwin, Sutherland, Woods among cast

Columbia Pictures has begun production on “Final Fantasy — The Movie” with a bevy of talent attached to lend their voices to the first computer-generated animated pic with photo-real characters.

Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Peri Gilpin, Ming-Na, Ving Rhames, Donald Sutherland and James Woods have all signed on to the Square Pictures production. Director Hironobu Sakaguchi’s futuristic action-adventure toon will follow efforts to save the Earth from the ultimate enemy.

Lensing is currently underway in Honolulu with voice recording taking place in Los Angeles under the helm of Jack Fletcher (“Black Mask,” “Princess Mononoke”).

Pic attempts to simulate human emotions and movements more realistically than any previous CG animated film through the use of the latest interactive entertainment software.

Chris Lee, who made the original deal with Square when he was prexy of production at Col, will take a producer credit, along with Jun Aida and Akio Sakai. “Fantasy” is slated for a 2001 release.

Square Pictures is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Square Co., the leading third-party developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software in Japan, including the game Final Fantasy. It has sold more than 18 million units to date. The company now publishes other titles spanning all genres under the Square Soft brand.

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