If you were wondering: the answer is yes. Western movie studios’ doomed obsession with making live-action takes on popular anime continues with the news that Lionsgate is looking to make a Naruto movie.
I suppose it’s not surprising that Hollywood would want to make a Naruto flick, seeing as it’s probably the third most popular manga/anime series in history (along with One Piece and Dragon Ball). The main narrative of the series, about a young ninja striving to become the greatest Hokage (a kind of village protector) in history, sounds like it would make a solid movie. But for whatever reason, these anime-to-western-movie translations never work out. Just look at the abysmal Dragonball: Evolution, or the forever-in-development Akira movie for evidence of that.
But whatever, I suppose you have to try and grab that money if you can. The Naruto movie will be reportedly be directed by Michael Gracey, a former special effects guy, who is now attached to all sorts of interesting projects like Muppet Man (a Jim Henson biography), The Greatest Show on Earth (a P.T. Barnum musical), and a new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. That’s some range. The Naruto movie will be produced by longtime Marvel/Spider-Man producer Avi Arad.
I have little confidence in any Hollywood anime-based movie turning out well, but I guess the somewhat grounded Naruto has a better chance of working than most. What do you think the movie’s chances are?
(via The Tracking Board)