Live-action Naruto film in the works

NarutoDespite unsuccessful past attempts (we still don’t talk about Dragonball: Evolution), Western live-action adaptations of popular Japanese anime seem to be gaining traction these days, with Death Note and Ghost in the Shell reportedly in the works. Another extremely popular manga and anime series may soon get the Hollywood live-action treatment. We’re talking about Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto’s saga about a young ninja who dreams of becoming the leader of his village.

According to Empire, Lionsgate is in negotiations for the film rights to Naruto and has signed Michael Gracey to direct an adaptation of the hit Japanese series.

Naruto began as a manga published in 1997 that currently stretches to 72 volumes. With over 200 million copies in print, the manga is the third best selling in history, after One Piece and Dragonball. A 220-episode anime series began airing in 2002 followed by a sequel series in 2007, Naruto: Shippuden, which has aired 421 episodes and counting. Studio Pierrot also developed ten movies.

Michael Gracey is a former visual effects specialist and has recently begun directing films. His name is attached to projects such as Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the Elton John biopic Rocketman (with Tom Hardy), and the P.T. Barnum biopic The Greatest Show on Earth.

Live-action anime adaptations have generally not done very well, but there’s a first time for everything and it’s still the early days for this project.

Do you think a live-action film could ever do justice to Naruto? Do let us know in the comments below!