Sword Art Online's anime will next be branching out with an adaptation of Sword Art Online Progressive, but a recent rumor has been picking up steam that suggests this upcoming project would be a movie instead of a full series. When Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld aired its final episode, the franchise announced that it would soon be returning with a new anime based on the Progressive side novels. These novels saw series creator Reki Kawahara returning to the Aincrad arc of the series to explore more of the early moments in Asuna and Kirito's burgeoning relationship.
But while Sword Art Online Progressive certainly has enough material for a full series, recent updates for the project now make it seem like it's going to be a feature film adaptation instead. As noted by @SugoiLITE on Twitter (based on additional materials seen on the franchise's official website), Sword Art Online Progressive is being touted as a Movie/Film project.
As with all rumors of this nature, it's healthy to approach it cautiously as the nature of the project has yet to be officially confirmed as either a TV series or a film project. There are many benefits to it being a film project, however, as much as fans might want to explore this spin-off through a full TV series.
While a film might edit or remove materials from the original novels fans might want to see, it also might be releasing a lot sooner than we could expect. If it is a film project, that means it was most likely produced alongside the War of Underworld arc series. It could have been in the planning stages for even longer than that, honestly, so that would mean it's not a long wait for it either.
Sword Art Online has only branched out with a single feature film with Ordinal Scale, so a new feature film returning to Kirito and Asuna's adventures in Aincrad would definitely be a way to get fans out to theaters (presuming the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic alleviates by its official release). Considering we just got through nearly two years worth of the anime's third season, a feature film might seem like the more fruitful option behind the scenes too.
But what do you think? Would Sword Art Online Progressive make for a better feature film or TV series? Would you mind if it turns out to be a film if we get more than one? Would you want to see a new series even if it covers some of the same ideas previously hit in the first season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!