Photo: 'your name.' official website
entertainment

Anime 'your name.' to be remade as Hollywood live-action movie produced by JJ Abrams

15 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Director Makoto Shinkai’s "your name." was a huge hit with hard-core anime fans, but the film owes no small part of its success to its ability to appeal to viewers outside the otaku market. Sure, it’s got its share of anime tropes, but it’s also a relatable teenage love story, plus a science fiction thriller, and unlike so many other anime films it doesn’t require familiarity with outside source material, spin-offs, or a dictionary’s worth of jargon to provide a complete, satisfying, and emotionally moving experience.

That broad appeal has not only made "your name." an unprecedented success with overseas moviegoers, but has also earned it some very big supporters in the Hollywood film industry. How big? Toho, the film's distributor in Japan, has just announced that a live-action Hollywood version of "your name." is in the works, with none other than JJ Abrams attached as a producer.

The Hollywood "your name." will be a joint production between Toho, Paramount Pictures, and Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions. Along with Abrams, Lindsey Weberand Genki Kawamura (producer of the "your name." anime) will serve as producers. Handling the script is Eric Heisserer, screenwriter for "Arrival" (which earned him an Academy Award nomination) and "Lights Out," as well as the 2011 "The Thing" and the "2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street."

Shinkai himself commented on the project, saying: “'your name.' is a film that was put together with the local creativity and domestic techniques of those of us living in Japan. With such a movie now intersecting with Hollywood, there’s the potential for the staff to show us new possibilities, which is something I’m looking forward to in the finished film.”

Kawamura also sounded incredibly upbeat about the project.

“There could be no better team to make this. It’s like a dream. When I heard that JJ Abrams was interested in making a Hollywood live-action version of 'your name.', I couldn’t believe it. Right up until I met with him and the people from Bad Robot in person, I kept thinking ‘I’m dreaming. This has got to be a dream.' But it turns out it’s real.”

The producer also expressed that he has the utmost confidence in Heisserer’s talents.

“'your name.' is propelled to its climax by a fusion of science fiction and romance elements. I am certain that Eric will do an excellent job conveying that.”

No announcements have been made regarding casting or filming locations, but it’s unlikely that the live-action "your name." U.S. partners would be amenable to working with an all-Japanese, Japanese-speaking cast or filming in Japan (where filming permits are notoriously hard to obtain). While "your name." does feature some extensive Shinto imagery, most of it exists as symbolic window dressing, and the plot’s connections to Japanese folklore and societal norms aren’t so deep-seated that non-Japanese substitutes would ruin the film’s message. Still, the high-profile backlashes from pre-existing franchise fans against this year’s live-action "Death Note" and "Ghost in the Shell" for removing Japanese elements found in the source material have to something the Hollywood "your name." production team is aware of.

Another difficulty the live-action "your name." will face actually comes from one of the anime’s greatest strengths, namely its gorgeous visuals. While many anime-to-live-action projects struggle to preserve the look and atmosphere of the characters, in the case of "your name." that challenge extends to the backgrounds and scenery as well. Shinkai (and by association anime studio CoMix Wave Films) gives settings a moist, glistening, vividly colorful quality that perfectly complements the pure-hearted emotion and cleansing catharsis of his films, and puling that feat off in live-action will be as intimidating an undertaking as anything else for the producers of the Hollywood remake.

Of course, it’s worth noting that no one expected the animated "your name." to have the gigantic impact it did either. Prior to its release, Shinkai’s name was really only known among anime enthusiasts, and while his visuals always delivered, he had as many storytelling hits as misses. So maybe "your name." can surprise everyone again by being the rare live-action anime adaptation that isn’t quickly forgotten or only remembered as a cautionary tale.

Sources: Eiga.com, IT Media, Deadline Hollywood

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Distributor of anime Your Name reportedly responds to rumors of live-action adaptation

-- Anime film Your Name’s director reveals that one character was very different in initial script

-- Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name is about to do something no non-Ghibli anime has ever done

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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I wouldn't mind American remakes of anime and manga if it wasn't because it turned out horrendously bad every time. if it was just ordinarily bad then fine, but its always toe-curlingly horrible, like Dragon Ball, Death Note, and also the Avatar TLA film, though that wasn't an anime. I don't really care about whitewashing, however i don't get why they keep trying this out when it becomes horrible everytime.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Clearly, the movie would be set in a West location so they can use Western actors/actresses

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hollywood doesn't have a great track record for anime-to-live action films.

Heres hoping things change!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Forzaducatil: Excellent post! It is very often the case that thing originally Japanese are redone elsewhere and cause further interest in Japan and the culture, as well as the original works. The term "anime" itself -- now associated only with Japanese animated works -- is a perfect example of RE-borrowed words (in this case from French, then back to Japanese to refer to Japanese animation). And there are more examples still of Japanese works and products not at all famous in Japan, made famous by their popularity in other nations and coming back to Japan (where people suddenly have immense pride in it), like Sudoku.

So, as you said, it may well be that they do a good job, or a bad one, but it will renew interest in the original, and it will expand interest where others didn't know about it to begin with. It's win-win, particularly since Toho is in on the production.

But leave it to some naysayers to get racial about it and without the movie having even been started insisting the original is "superior".

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Nothing beats an original, but why the outrage? And moreover, why turn this in something racist. White washing my butt. It is a co production between the creators of the original anime film, Toho and Paramount Pictures. The Japanese side could have said no, for, and I read this on a Japanese news site, “Don’t pollute Japanese anime with live action characters” and “Japan’s unique feelings are difficult to grasp for foreigners” etc. etc. But they didn’t. It could be because of pride or it could be for the potential millions of dollars coming in I don’t know, but don’t blame Hollywood for it. I read that Your Name grossed over $300 million world wide, but in the US only $5 million. Maybe this new movie appeals more to American audiences and might spur them into watching the original version. How about “For a Fistfull of Dollars” or “The Magnificient Seven”? Blatant rip-offs, but very successful and it created an interest in and admiration for Kurosawa, who in turn (quote) "used Shakespeare and American pulp novels as source material and embraced Hollywood narrative styles and filmmaking techniques". So don’t get your knickers in a twist over nothing.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Stick the what you know like Star Trek & Star Wars

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

They have a big opportunity to do this right this time, don't screw it up

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Won't make sense. He just sees lens flare

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So the whole Japanese element can not be done, the visuals can definitely not be done, its not gonna be an all Japanese cast, so then not just rename it. Oh wait they want to ride on that movie's glory. pathetic

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Mirai Hayashi: " No one wants to see a white washed version (and I can almost guarantee an all white cast) of a Japanese movie. Just stop!"

MANY Japanese movies are based on Hollywood or other Western films, so it goes both ways.

Frankly, I'm pessimisstic about how this could be, although JJ Abrahms has so good titles under his belt (some not so good). I think what we sense in a lot of these knee-jerk reactions above and otherwise is genuine fear that it MIGHT be better received than the original. Not saying that's the case, and if the recent trend of live action movies based on Japanese anime or manga are any indicator, it won't be, but again, why not wait until it is out to judge it? Maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised, and the posters who are angered or hurt that Japan might somehow get less credit can rest assured it is only due to the original that another decent (or even great) movie was made.

Like I said, I have my doubts, though.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Another great animation to be tainted by Americans. They simply can't copy. This is sad

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Hollywood: Stop trying to profit off of the work of others by remaking old movies, or in this case, a movie that is less than a year old which is too damn soon! Instead, try to be more imaginative and come up with something original for once! No one wants to see a white washed version (and I can almost guarantee an all white cast) of a Japanese movie. Just stop!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Well, goodbye.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This just shows how bankrupt Hollywood creativity is... they are even willing to raid anime and manga.

Hollywood remake based on anime/manga so far is whack!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

plot’s connections to Japanese folklore and societal norms aren’t so deep-seated that non-Japanese substitutes would ruin the film’s message.

RIP

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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