NARUTO Is Up For A Live-Action Film From Lionsgate
Naruto Shippuden and Road To Ninja: Naruto The Movie helmer Yamashita Hiroyuki is currently on the way with the next theatrical chapter of the hit manga/anime saga, Boruto: Naruto The Movie – the eleventh animated film in the saga, this August in Japan while fans await their day in October. It’s a franchise like many of late with a huge following stemming from its roots at Shueisha by author Kishimoto Masashi, prior to its anime launch in 1997 with a plot focused on an orphaned boy determined to become his village’s strongest ninja guardian yet. Moreover, it is one that has systemically driven online creators to bring their own inspired take on Kishimoto’s universe, and make no mistake – there are quite a few successes to take note of (HINT: I’ve written about them).
So, what of it then? Well, as a lot of you may already know in this day and age, it’s always a matter of time before something as highly treasured by the masses as a beloved anime is taken into consideration for a live-action adaptation by Hollywood. Films like Dragonball: Evolution and Edge Of Tomorrow, and upcoming iterations of titles like Akira and Ghost In The Shell are prime examples of hits and misses of such properties (you be the judge of either), as the volume and tone of the responses to these projects are largely met with some capacity of skepticism, to say the least. So in the wake of Variety‘s latest report this time around, this might not be surprising, as word now has it that former VFX specialist Michael Gracey is moving into a live-action take on Naruto with backing by Lionsgate in association with Avi Arad productions; Gracey‘s directing career will kick off next year for the biopic release, The Greatest Showman On Earth with Hugh Jackman starring, following a resume with titles such as Chen Kuo-fu’s 2002 thriller, Double Vision, Ned Kelley in 2003, and The Magician in 2005.
Granted, this will take some getting used to when this goes forward, and hopefully it meets the standards the fans hope will be met. Lionsgate is also handling Dave Green’s current production of the upcoming Toku feature reboot, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with Saban, so for those concerned, that is two fronts to pay attention to, but the Naruto universe is definitely one internalized for its fanbase.
Cross your fingers and watch this space.