Despite the collective desire by anybody with half a brain for the film to go away forever, the live-action Naruto adaptation is still limping along.
On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that an upcoming live-action adaptation of Naruto was getting a rewrite from Jon and Erich Hoeber, who are best known for writing the Red films.
Created by Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto is a manga-turned-anime that follows a young ninja of the same name who is shunned by the people of his village. Some 12 years before the series begins, the leader of the village sacrificed his life to stop a rampaging, nine-tailed fox demon by sealing it inside Naruto’s body. Now, Naruto must endure scorn from his fellow villagers and prove himself as a ninja, all while shouting “dattebayo!” a lot.
Aside from the strong source material, the film doesn’t have a lot going in its favor. Hollywood wants Michael Gracey, a former VFX artist, to helm the adaptation, although he’ll only be making his directorial debut later this year with The Greatest Showman. Naruto is an incredibly long, dense series that won’t easily translate to film. And live-action anime adaptations don’t typically turn out too well, even if we don’t consider the inevitable whitewashing for this film since it will be made in the United States. Remember Dragonball: Evolution?
We know that Kishimoto is involved in some capacity, but even with him doing quality control, it’s hard to see this film bucking the trend of poor anime adaptations. Rewrites are sometimes seen as a sign of trouble, but they’re the least of the live-action Naruto’s worries.