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Credit: Toho

Bad Robot's Your Name adaptation will be 'through the lens of a Western viewpoint'

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Dec 27, 2018

We still don't know a lot about the upcoming adaptation of Makoto Shinkai’s 2016 gender/body-swapping anime Your Name, though a rather surprising aspect of the upcoming film was revealed today.

In an interview with /Film, screenwriter Eric Heisserer explained the "interesting challenge" of working on the upcoming anime adaptation for Bad Robot, particularly in regard to what the property's rights holders are looking for.

"You have to find the best iteration of that story based on the fact that they want an American live-action version of the film," Heisserer explained. "They stated if they wanted a Japanese live-action version, they would just do it themselves. But they want to see it through the lens of a Western viewpoint."

The Your Name adaptation was first mentioned back in September of 2017, which had J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber teaming up on behalf of Bad Robot with the original anime's producer, Genki Kawamura. This is a good couple of years after the initial blowback that the live-action Ghost in the Shell film got for casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead role, sparking furious accusations of white-washing.

However, as Heisserer points out, Your Name's rights holders, who are Japanese themselves, are insistent that the source material is changed accordingly. When asked about the inevitable Ghost in the Shell parallels, Heisserer, who's previously adapted the screenplays for Arrival and Bird Boxsaid he was one of several writers who pitched a Your Name adaptation, and seemed confident in the direction it's going.

"I think I was one of 20 or 30 people that pitched them a version of the adaptation. So they had a lot of choices. I can say that mine was not a Ghost in the Shell-like version."

There is no official release date or director for the Your Name adaptation. Are you interested in seeing this new interpretation of the story? Let us know in the comments. 

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