Director Michael Gracey has provided an update on the potential live-action Naruto film, saying if series creator Masashi Kishimoto isn’t on board, the project won’t happen.
In an interview with Collider, Gracey explained he’s concerned about getting the movie right and doing justice to the original anime. The filmmaker wants to closely work with Kishimoto on the project and won’t do it unless Kishimoto is “excited” about the script.
“So many Hollywood adaptations of really popular manga series just don’t get it right, and for me what was really important was that if I was gonna do Naruto, I wanted to actually work with Kishimoto and get a script to a stage where he would look at it and be excited about realizing it,” Gracey said. “Because no one knows the world better than the person who created it.”
Reports of a live-action Naruto film happening first surfaced in 2015, with Lionsgate being the studio behind the project. Gracey and the rest of the creative team are currently sill working on the screenplay and if it’s not exceptional, Gracey is fine with never making the movie. According to the director, Lionsgate and the producers also share the same sentiment.
“So for me, as it stands, we’re still working on the script,” Gracey sad. “Because until that script is at a level that I’m excited about, I have no interest in destroying an amazing franchise, as has happened before.”
“At this stage, no one is going to go into production until we’ve got a script that excites everyone,” Gracey continued. “So whether it’s my next one or not, I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.”
There has been a rise of live-action adaptations of popular anime over the past few years, including Death Note, which scored a 7.0 from IGN, and Fullmetal Alchemist, which IGN thinks “does little to reverse the trend of disappointing movie adaptations of manga series.”
Alex Gilyadov is a freelance writer for IGN. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel and follow him on Twitter.