Reki Kawahara's Sword Art Online: Progressive light novel series is receiving a full film series adaption. Aria of a Starless Night is already hitting theaters and Scherzo of a Dark Dusk is set for release next year. This sounds great to anime fans, but readers of the light novel series are a little more skeptical.
Unlike the original series, Progressive is meticulous in its telling of the Aincrad Arc. Since the first light novel release all the way back in 2012, the main cast has only made it to the 7th Floor of Aincrad. They still have at least another 68 Floors to go before the series can catch up to the original ending of the Aincrad Arc. If Kawahara uses this reboot to go past the first 75 Floors covered in the original series, then there are still 93 Floors left. Wherever Progressive chooses to end, it won't be any time in the foreseeable future.
Despite the slow pace of Progressive, A-1 Pictures has seen fit to begin a film series about it. The first movie, Aria of a Starless Night, covers the first light novel's events, which encompasses the first two floors of Aincrad. The concept of covering two floors per novel isn't observed by later installments of the series, as each of the other light novels features one new floor at the most.
A-1 Pictures seems intent on maintaining a fast pace regardless of how slow Progressive is moving. The upcoming movie, Scherzo of a Dark Dusk, actually skips over the second and third light novel in favor of covering content from the fourth. It seems as if the team at A-1 Pictures is trying to cover three years' worth of content in two films. If the Progressive adaptations continue at this rate, they'll catch up to the light novels and run out of new material in no time.
— 川原礫;SAO26巻10月8日発売 (@kunori) November 1, 2021
According to Reki Kawahara, the decision to move ahead to Scherzo is not an effort to skip content entirely. Since the Elf Quest storyline that begins in volume 2 is incomplete, it will receive its due adaption at a later time. Sure enough, the elf quest in question is supposed to last players until the 9th Floor, which the main cast hasn't even reached yet in the light novels. Assuming that everything from the light novels will eventually be animated, the movies are progressing right on schedule.
For now, it's unknown whether A-1 Pictures' team can properly adapt all of Progressive into a film series. If it's a question of pacing, one movie per year should keep things moving steadily. As for whether it's feasible to make a film series of 75-100 movies, that remains to be seen. Whatever the case, all the involved parties seem committed to putting as much of Sword Art Online: Progressive to film as they can.