“The Hunger Games” franchise is coming to an end, but that hasn’t stopped Lionsgate from adapting popular source materials into movies.
The studio recently turned its attention to “Naruto” as it is in negotiations to buy the film rights to the iconic Japanese manga series, written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto,
The manga series is based on a one-shot manga by Kishimoto that was published in the August 1997 issue of Akamaru Jump. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who dreams to become the Hokage, the village ninja who is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all.
It was later adapted into a TV anime, which was produced by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex. It premiered across Japan on the terrestrial TV Tokyo and other TX Network stations on 3rd October 2002. The series, which lasted 220 episodes, spawned a sequel named “Naruto: Shippuden” and it has been airing since 15th February 2007. Studio Pierrot further developed 11 movies and several original video animations based on the manga series.
Titled “The Last: Naruto the Movie” (ザ・ラスト ‐ナルト・ザ・ムービー‐, Za Rasuto: Naruto za Mūbī), the 10th Naruto film was released on 6th Dec 2014 in Japan. It is the first entry in the Start of a New Era Project (新時代開幕プロジェクト Shinjidai Kaimaku Purojekuto) and the first film to be an official part of the canon Naruto storyline, set during the timeskip that occurs between the 2 last chapters of the manga series. The 11th movie titled “Boruto: Naruto the Movie” will be released in Japan on 7th August 2015.
For the live-action adaptation of “Naruto”, Lionsgate has signed former visual effects specialist Michael Gracey to helm it. Gracey is currently attached to direct several studio projects that are in development, including Universal’s adaptation of “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”, Elton John biopic “Rocketman” (starring Tom Hardy), and Fox’s P.T. Barnum biopic “The Greatest Showman on Earth”.
“Naruto” isn’t the only manga series to be adapted into a film as “進撃の巨人ごっこ” (translation: Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan) has been adapted into a film and is set to be fully released this year. “Ghost in the Shell” (攻殻機動隊 Kōkaku Kidōtai, literally “Mobile Armored Riot Police”), will also brought to the big screen by DreamWorks and Steven Spielberg.
It is unclear when the principal photography for this movie will begin, but Avi Arad and his son Ari Arad will produce it through Arad Productions. Erik Feig, Geoff Shaveitz and Kelly O’Malley will oversee the project for the studio.
What do you think of this? Will it live up to the fans’ expectations? Leave your thoughts in the comments box below!