NARUTO is one of the most commonly known stories in existence. Its extravagant elemental techniques, signature running style, and popular anime have delighted multiple generation since the manga’s breakout in 1999. Over hundreds of manga chapters and countless hours of anime, Naruto fights for his life, saves friends, and slowly unites the ninja world. Since the manga’s end in 2014, the series’ popularity remains high with a spin-off anime, video games, light novels, and mobile apps maintaining the fandom.
For those of you living under a rock, NARUTO tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young, orphan ninja who dreams of becoming Hokage. The Hokage is the leader of the village and a ninja worthy of respect and admiration. Their likeness is carved into a mountain, making them the literal face of the village. Unfortunately for Naruto, a terrifying nine-tailed fox that once destroyed the village is sealed within him. Most people look at him and only see the demon fox, but Naruto trains and fights to be become his own person. The adventures of this orange-clad protagonist include fights against supervillains, journeys through dangerous nations, and intense training. His ninja way pushes him forward, bringing friends and new comrades along with him.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that both Jon and Erich Hoeber will rewrite the screenplay of the NARUTO live-action adaptation. The Hoeber brothers both worked with Lionsgate in the past on comedy-thriller Red and Red 2. In 2015, Lionsgate secured the rights to adapt the NARUTO manga, working with series creator Masashi Kishimoto during production. Shortly afterward, Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) was announced as director. Late last year, manga publisher Shonen Jump tweeted out confirmation for a live-action adaptation of the popular anime, following other popular series like DEATH NOTE and DRAGON BALL. Check out the Shonen Jump tweet here:
Live-Action Hollywood movie for Naruto announced! From Lionsgate, Michael Gracey directing.
— Shonen Jump (@shonenjump) December 17, 2016
The inclusion of well-known action film writers bodes well for this adaptation. Fans have set the bar for this film quite high, considering most Hollywood live-action anime adaptations have drawn criticisms for poor storytelling, sloppy CGI, and intensely whitewashed casts. With a well-seasoned team behind NARUTO, the likelihood of a successful transition only increases.
Onward for NARUTO
Since the series ended, there’s been an anime gap that fans are desperate to fill. While spin-off shows like BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS are great, they’re no substitute for the classic series. The possibility of multiple live-action films showcasing the brilliant action of NARUTO with real stunts is extremely exciting. This is truly something all anime fans should be enthusiastically looking forward to.
For now, we’ll have to bide our time. With the release of several new video games on the horizon, fans can keep getting a daily dose of ninja. In the meantime, if you really need some real-life action, check out a ‘Naruto Run‘ near you. Plenty are popping up, so stretch your arms behind you and sprint into some anime fun!
Featured image screenshotted from Crunchyroll.