The insanely popular Naruto franchise continues to live on following its 15-year run as a manga. While video games and film sequels like Boruto: Naruto the Movie are set to come out (at the very least), but the franchise will be approaching new territories soon, as Lionsgate has announced a live-action film adaptation of everybody’s favorite Hidden Leaf Ninja.
For those unfamiliar, Naruto is the story about an orphan growing up in a village full of ninjas. Overlooked and made fun of because of his lack of talents (and parents), Naruto trains and perseveres on his way to becoming the world’s best ninja. In terms of popularity, it’s typically been ranked towards the top of shounen (“for boys”) anime alongside such series like Dragon Ball Z and One Piece.
Michael Gracey, who has done some VFX work on some upcoming films, will be making his directorial debut on the film. I’m guessing he was primarily chosen due to his visual effects work, as a film like Naruto would need a very dedicated and strong VFX team. However, despite Lionsgate’s successes with adaptations like The Hunger Games and Divergent, it’s hard for an American studio to successfully adapt anime into a live-action film. However, if the studio can pull off both Power Rangers and Naruto, Lionsgate could become the de facto studio for modern film adaptations.
As always, we’ll have more on the Naruto film adaptation when developments arise.