The main characters from the anime Naruto

Another Major Anime Is Getting the Live-Action Treatment

Hollywood can’t seem to get enough of live-action anime adaptations, but with the majority of them ending up misses rather than hits, Naruto fans are concerned about the upcoming live-action movie based on the iconic story. Here is everything we know about it so far.

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The fact that we are getting a live-action movie adaptation of one of the most famous anime IPs out there isn’t news. A Naruto adaptation has been in the works since 2015 when it was announced that Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) would be directing with Avi Arad (Spider-Man: No Way Home) set to produce. Since then, not much has been heard on the matter, until recently.

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It’s going ahead

It was announced last month that Tasha Huo (The Witcher: Blood Origin) is coming on board as the new screenwriter. Huo, who is also the showrunner for Netflix’s upcoming Tomb Raider animated series, appears to be aware of the responsibility of taking on such a beloved franchise, reportedly telling IGN:

Adapting iconic characters or IP makes the writing of it easier, because the passion for writing it is already there. I’m so inspired by these characters already that it’s exciting to just take a part of their journey and try to tell that fun story in a way that would appeal to me as a fan.

Gracey did say that they would only move forward if the script was approved by Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of the source material. Talking to Collider back in 2018, Gracey said,

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.

It’s a level of self-awareness that is rare and refreshing in Hollywood these days, especially as they have butchered many great anime/manga adaptations in the past. Netflix, you may have nailed it with One Piece, but we still do not forgive you for Death Note. It is likely, though, that the recent success of One Piece has led to a renewed push on the live-action Naruto front.

A close-up of Naruto Uzumaki's face in 'Naruto.' He looks determined.

With Huo having only just taken on the role, we don’t yet know what the plot of the live-action Naruto adaptation will be. We do know that, unlike One Piece, it is going to be a movie. When anime movie adaptations don’t work, it’s usually because it is extremely hard to condense a long-running anime series into a movie without completely ripping it apart and shoving the story into a much smaller package.

Naruto has 720 episodes, if you include Naruto: Shippuden. We can only hope they start from the beginning, where we meet a young Naruto Uzumaki, a ninja in training from the Hidden Leaf Village who dreams of becoming the village’s next Hokage. Where and how they decide to cut off the story, though, we have no idea.

Another fact we just don’t know yet is the release date. With the Naruto movie having been stuck in limbo for almost a decade, there is no set date for its arrival on the big screen. The fact we have a new screenwriter is reassuring that it is going ahead, but there is still a lot up in the air.

(featured Image: Pierrot)

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Laura Pollacco
Laura Pollacco (she/her) is a contributing writer here at The Mary Sue, having written for digital media since 2022 and has a keen interest in all things Marvel, Lord of the Rings, and anime. She has worked for various publications including We Got This Covered, but much of her work can be found gracing the pages of print and online publications in Japan, where she resides. Outside of writing she treads the boards as an actor, is a portrait and documentary photographer, and takes the little free time left to explore Japan.