Hollywood has always had a tendency to, for the most part, fail when it comes to adapting Japanese manga and anime to live-action formats and a major reason is that the creators of said manga and anime do not get involved.
That clearly isn’t going to be the case for Michael Gracey (top left), who is looking to tackle the live-action adaptation of the beloved manga Naruto. The director of The Greatest Showman recently gave an update of the in-development live-action film, which is gearing to be made for Lionsgate Films.
In his recent interview, Gracey pretty much says that he wants the input and approval from Masashi Kishimoto (top right), the creator of the franchise, before making the film.
Here’s some of what Gracey had to say about the update:
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.
Hearing this, as a manga and anime enthusiast, brings music to my ears. This is exactly what Hollywood will need to do if they expect to do it right and get that following. Recently, Tite Kubo had mentioned that Hollywood wanted to adapt his title Bleach, but upon hearing the pitch, refused the adaptation, which has proven to be smart. Bleach will have a live adaptation in Japan coming in July. Taiki Waititi has mentioned that if he gets hired to adapt Akira, he wants to adapt the original manga and cast new Japanese actors in the core roles of that manga.
As for Naruto, let’s hope that Kishimoto does in fact, get a look at the script, which at last word, was being written by RED scripters Jon and Erich Hoeber. Gracey has made it clear from his words: Kishimoto approves or no-go, then what will happen. Well, one can guess considering the track record of live-action adaptations.
More as this develops.