More than a year ago, Lionsgate announced it was in negotiations to make a live-action adaptation of the highly popular Japanese manga series Naruto, with visual effects artist Michael Gracey at the helm. Since then, news about the Hollywood production have been scarce, but we finally have some rather exciting news to share.
It was officially confirmed (via Anime News Network) during this weekend's Naruto and Boruto stage event at the Jump Festa event that yes, Lionsgate and Gracey were working on a live-action movie of Masashi Kishimoto's manga series. What’s more, it has also been revealed that Kishimoto himself will be involved in the production. There’s nothing like the main man himself to make sure the movie keeps the spirit of the manga and anime series on which it is based, don’t you think?
Avi and Ari Arad have been tapped to produce the film through Arad Productions, with Erik Feig, Geoff Shaveitz and Kelly O’Malley overseeing for Lionsgate. Gracey is currently hard at work on the upcoming P.T. Barnum biopic The Greatest Showman on Earth, which will be released on the big screen on Dec. 25, 2017, and stars Hugh Jackman in the titular role. No word on when filming will begin on Naruto (they need to find the actors first, of course).
The film will be based on the manga first published in 1997, which also spawned an anime series that premiered in 2002 and ran for 220 episodes in Japan. A sequel titled Naruto: Shippuden has been airing since 2007, and a movie, Boruto: Naruto the Movie, opened in the U.S. back on Oct. 10.
What do you think about Masashi Kishimoto being involved in Lionsgate’s live-action Naruto movie?