A few years ago came word that a live-action film was in the works at Lionsgate based on the long-running anime and manga franchise “Naruto” which follows an adolescent ninja who aspires to be the leader of his village.
At the time newcomer Michael Gracey was reportedly in negotiations to direct and remains attached to this day, though Gracey has since had one major movie credit to his name – he directed the recent smash musical hit “The Greatest Showman”.
Out talking up that film’s Blu-ray release, Gracey was asked by Collider to give an update on the “Naruto” adaptation. From the sounds of it not much progress has been made, but they are taking the time to do it right as opposed to rushing it out:
“I don’t know [if it will be my next film], to be honest. You know Masashi Kishimoto, who created the original series, he’s just a genius. 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. Because no one knows the world better than the person who created it.
So for me, as it stands, we’re still working on the script. 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. But I think the great thing is that everyone involved, from Lionsgate to the producers, are all of the same mind.
Everyone knows how precious this property is and to me it’s incredibly exciting, and I love the work that I’ve gotten to do on it to date. At this stage, no one is going to go into production until we’ve got a script that excites everyone. So whether it’s my next one or not, I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.”
In regards to the script, Jon and Erich Hoeber (“RED”) were hired in August last year perform a re-write. How they’ve progressed is uncertain. reports hit a year ago that Kishimoto would be involved with the production which follows on from several failed adaptations of Japanese manga mega-franchises last year like “Ghost in the Shell” and “Death Note”.
“The Greatest Showman” is now available on Digital HD and hits Blu-ray and DVD on April 10th.