In 2015, Lionsgate announced its plans to produce a movie adaptation Naruto. While it has been quite some time since that announcement, fans have been left wondering when exactly they’re gonna get to see it on the big screen. Lionsgate hired Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) to direct Naruto, and for the first time in years, the director has opened up about where things stand.
In an interview with Collider, Gracey had the following to say :
“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.”
First premiering in 2002, Naruto became a worldwide phenomenon, quickly catching attention in the West. It is widely regarded as one of the key anime adaptations to have popularised the genre around the world (the other being Dragon Ball franchise). The series spanned over 200+ episodes, giving rise to a direct sequel Naruto: Shippuden. The continuing series saw the production of 500 episodes, making the whole one of the longest running anime ever created. The series has also garnered critical and commercial acclaim.
Naruto Live-Action Movie Still In Active Development
Gracey has previously gone on record stating that working with Naruto’s creator Masashi Kishimoto is a top priority. He’s proved before that he can lead a major production and turn it into a success. Fans have been eyeing the upcoming project with caution, given how bad the last few anime-manga adaptations have turned out (Looking at you, Death Note).
“We’re still working on the script. …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. At this stage, no one is going to go into production until we’ve got a script that excites everyone.”
Hollywood has proved time and again how bad these adaptations have turned out to be. Recent (messed up) releases such as Dragon Ball: Evolution & The Last Airbender come to mind. While the last such movie, Ghost In The Shell, was a moderate ‘success’, there’s still a long way to go. For example, the upcoming Battle Angel: Alita looks promising. There are also live-action adaptations of the world famous Akira and Attack On Titan in the works! Only time will tell how this pans out. Here’s hoping for the best…