Lionsgate is trying to get a live-action Naruto movie they have taken a step to steer the adaptation in the correct direction. The studio has ordered a rewrite on the script from Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber. They are best known for writing Red and Red 2. They will work with Naruto creator, Masashi Kishimoto, who is involved with the production.
The news comes from The Hollywood Report, who also reports that Michael Gracey is attached to direct the movie. His directorial debut, the P.T. Barnum biopic The Greatest Showman, which stars Hugh Jackman and ZacEfron, is set to hit theaters this year.
Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber have a lot of experience with action-heavy adaptations. Their work on Red and Red 2 netted the studio a good profit.
The movies were successful at the box office and made a total of $347 million worldwide. They penned the screenplay for the adaptation of Meg for Warner Bros., which will have Jason Statham fighting a giant shark.
The Naruto manga was released in 1997, written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It was a success and spawned a hit anime series that ran from 2002 to 2007. A version with an English dub was there from 2005 to 2009 on Cartoon Network’s Toonami.
The story of Naruto follows NarutoUzumaki, an adolescent ninja who dreams to become the Hokage, the ninja in his village who is acknowledged as the strongest leader. If all does go well, the franchise will include a live-action movie soon.
Comic book adaptations are big business in Hollywood but adapting Manga for the big screen has not quite caught on in the same way. There was an attempt to bring Ghost in the Shell to the world of live-action, but it underperformed at the box office.
So studios have not cracked the code with Manga adaptations yet. Maybe if Jon and Erich Hoeber really come up with a solid take, Naruto may be the thing that changes the concept.