Nomura Didn’t Know He Was Directing the Final Fantasy 7 Remake
In an interview with Famitsu (courtesy of Kotaku), Tetsuya Nomura mentioned that he didn't know he was directing the anticipated Final Fantasy VII remake until he saw the full announcement teaser at Square Enix HQ just before it aired during E3 2015. Nomura, known for creating and directing the Kingdom Hearts series, originally worked on Final Fantasy VII's character designs and was its battle visual director. He was previously directing Final Fantasy XV, having invented its characters, concept and base story, until he was replaced by Hajime Tabata in the director's chair. This was done so Nomura could focus on Kingdom Hearts III. Tabata is primarily known for directing Parasite Eve: The 3rd Birthday and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (double ugh).
“Actually, quite a while ago, I tried to start up the project [to remake FFVII], but at the time it didn’t come to fruition," Nomura said. “As preproduction went along and I offered my opinions on what I thought should be done, Mr. Kitase would asked me how the individual elements should be adjusted in fine detail. It was very perplexing. Then one day, as I was checking the internal company presentation video it said ‘Director Tetsuya Nomura’ at the end.”
Tetsuya Nomura was aware that the FFVII remake was happening when Square Enix exec Shinji Hashimoto spoke to him and Yoshinori Kitase, the game's original director, about redoing the title from the ground-up. Hashimoto helped promote, advertise and market the original game.
After watching his name appear as the director in the remake's announcement teaser, he immediately called Kitase, who he assumed would helm the remake, having directed the original.
“So I called up Mr. Kitase and said, ‘It says that I’m the director for some reason.’ To which he replied, ‘Of course it does.’”
Since we're still way early in the remake's development (and Nomura just started development on KHIII), we have a feeling Final Fantasy VII won't launch until late 2017 at the earliest (in time for its 20th anniversary).