Here is an Update on the Live-Action NARUTO Film

It’s been close to a year and a half since we have heard anything about the live-action Naruto project from Lionsgate. But recently, Collider got to sit down with the project’s director, Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman), and they wanted to know the status of the film. From Gracey’s comments, it looks like he’s conscious of the criticism that plagues live-action adaptations. Just look at The Last Airbender, Dragonball: Evolution, Ghost in the Shell, and Death Note if you’re not sure what I’m referring to. Here’s what Gracey said:

I don’t know [if it will be my next film], to be honest. You know Kishimoto, who created the original series, he’s just a genius. So many Hollywood adaptations of really popular manga series just don’t get it right, and for me what was really important was that if I was gonna do Naruto, I wanted to actually work with Kishimoto and get a script to a stage where he would look at it and be excited about realizing it. Because no one knows the world better than the person who created it.

So for me, as it stands, we’re still working on the script. Because until that script is at a level that I’m excited about, I have no interest in destroying an amazing franchise, as has happened before. But I think the great thing is that everyone involved, from Lionsgate to the producers, are all of the same mind. Everyone knows how precious this property is and to me it’s incredibly exciting, and I love the work that I’ve gotten to do on it to date. At this stage, no one is going to go into production until we’ve got a script that excites everyone. So whether it’s my next one or not, I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.

I think having the creator on board for this project is a great idea. That’s one of the reasons I can’t wait for the live-action Bleach film to come out this year. Tite Kubo worked on the project and I think it will really help. I also agree with Gracey that if he isn’t excited about the script, they shouldn’t do it. The last thing anyone needs is to be hated by a fanbase as large as Naruto’s. At least if he’s excited, he can come up with something about wanting to do his own variation which would gain some credibility if Mavashi Kishimoto was involved and was equally excited about it. As with most live-action adaptations, I am hesitant, but I guess we’ll see what happens. We don’t know when this film will happen, so be patient, and let us know who you would cast in the film.

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