Nearly ten years ago, Lionsgate, a prominent entertainment company, stirred excitement among fans by announcing plans for a live-action adaptation of the beloved anime, Naruto. After a lengthy hiatus in updates, a recent development has emerged, shedding light on the progress of this long-awaited project. Tasha Huo, recognized for her involvement in projects such as Red Sonja and the Tomb Raider animated series, has been unveiled as the screenwriter for the Naruto adaptation.
What stands out significantly is that this represents the first substantial update on the live-action Naruto venture since its initial announcement nearly a decade ago. This renewed revelation prompts a reflection on what is known about the live-action adaptation thus far.
Naruto, the celebrated anime, chronicles the journey of its eponymous protagonist and his companions as he aspires to become a Hokage for his village. This iconic anime, forming a part of the esteemed “Big Three” in classic Shonen anime alongside other popular titles, boasts over 200 episodes and holds a special place in the hearts of anime enthusiasts. The immense success of the series has led to subsequent adaptations, including Naruto Shippuden, Boruto, anime movies, games, and original video animations (OVAs).
The decision to adapt Masashi Kishimoto’s cherished manga into a live-action format was announced back in 2015, aligning Naruto with the league of anime series receiving similar treatment. Lionsgate, known for producing blockbuster hits like the John Wick and Hunger Games film series, as well as the critically acclaimed La La Land, is anchoring the production. The involvement of Michael Gracey, director of The Greatest Showman, was confirmed in 2016. Furthermore, Kishimoto himself is reportedly part of the movie’s production team, adding to the anticipation and credibility of the project.
The recent announcement in Variety magazine reveals Tasha Huo as the screenwriter entrusted with the task of bringing the beloved Naruto universe to life on the big screen. Huo, having previously worked on notable projects such as The Witcher: Blood Origin, Red Sonja, and the upcoming Tomb Raider animated series set to premiere in 2024, expressed her enthusiasm for adapting revered material like Naruto. In the article titled “10 Screenwriters to Watch for 2023,” Huo acknowledges the weight of adapting iconic characters or intellectual property (IP), stating that it fuels her passion for the writing process. She emphasizes her inspiration drawn from esteemed artists like Baz Luhrmann, J.J. Abrams, and Mike Flanagan.
This development not only rekindles the hopes and curiosity of fans but also signifies a pivotal step forward in the realization of a live-action Naruto movie. As details gradually surface and with an accomplished writer now onboard, the anticipation among fans of the beloved anime universe continues to grow.