Photo: 'your name.' official website

Hollywood 'your name.' anime live-action movie will feature Native American girl, Chicago boy

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

After becoming the biggest international anime film success of all time, the next stop for creator Makoto Shinkai’s "your name." is a live-action American remake. Since the project’s initial announcement in September of 2017, Hollywood A-lister J J Abrams has been attached as a producer, and now the film has a director too: Marc Webb.

The 44-year-old Webb is perhaps best known for helming 2012’s critically underwhelming "Amazing Spider-Man" and its 2014 sequel, but his more significant directing credit comes from farther back in his career with 2009’s "500 Days of Summer."

While it may not have the science-fiction elements of "your name.", Webb’s work in "500 Days of Summer" shows that he can tell a compelling romantic story while jumping back and forth between different points on the narrative’s timeline, and those talents could lend themselves very well to "your name." in which the perspective is constantly switching as the male and female leads swap bodies. Webb also has extensive experience as a music video director, and considering that the "your name." anime contains multiple musical montages, maybe he’ll get to put those skills to use too.

Speaking of "your name." characters, the live-action film will indeed have the “Western viewpoint” that scriptwriter Eric Heisserer claims the Japanese rights holders want. While the anime "your name." is centered on a boy living in Tokyo (named Taki) and a girl living in the mountainous countryside of Gifu Prefecture (Mitsuha), the Hollywood version will instead be about a boy from Chicago and a Native American girl in a rural community.

The introduction of different ethnic backgrounds is an element that wasn’t present in the homogeneously Japanese anime, but Mitsuha’s background being steeped in ancient Japanese cultural traditions is both a major motivation for her actions and a critical plot point, so perhaps the American side of the production felt making the female lead Native American was the closest equivalent for an American setting.

Genki Kawamura, who served as a producer on the  "your name." anime and will also do so on the live-action film, issued a statement saying:

“We are excited that Marc Webb, our first choice for director, will be directing the movie. He is an expert at telling love stories, such as '500 Days of Summer,' and I am convinced that his fresh perspective on 'your name.' will take it to new heights.”

Shinkai himself also commented on Webb’s announced involvement through his Twitter account, saying: “Marc Webb has been announced as the director for the Hollywood 'your name.' and I’m so happy! I love him as a director.”

Shinkai apparently isn’t just being polite, either. In the same tweet, he says that he’s snuck an homage to "500 Days of Summer" into his upcoming anime film "Weathering with You/Tenki no Ko," and hopes that Webb’s fans will enjoy it should they watch the animated feature, which is scheduled for a 2019 release. The Hollywood "your name." still has no projected release date.

Source: Livedoor News/Oricon News via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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

-- A Silent Voice, anime about bullied deaf girl, gets English-subtitled trailer, U.S. release date

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

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Not sure if this will work but I loved 500 Days of Summer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cultural appropriation.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Another stupid american remake failure!!!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Oh no, not another western bastardization of our anime...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Netflix Hollywood remake of Deathnote was awful! Those actors are well... Judge for yourself

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Not to worry, the social justice warriors will complain about how Hollywood is once again 'whitewashing' Japanese/Asian movies from overseas for the American remake.

Even though the Japanese rights holders specifically wanted a 'western' viewpoint.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Why? This type of plot has been done to death!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Why? This type of plot has been done to death!

Say what? I've seen a lot of movies, but none of those I saw had the same plot as this story.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Proxy - how is it cultural appropriation if the creator and director of "Your Name" - you know those who own the story - are literally over the moon that there is an American real actor version being done with their favorite director to boot?

Appears to me to be more inter-cultural co-operation than stealing.

I wonder how the dear citizens of Verona feel about about their classic cultural story Romeo & Juliet being mis-appropriated with abandon around the world? Miffed?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Oh no, not another western bastardization of our anime...

Which reminds me, Kurusosawa was heavily influenced by American John Ford's westerns. Oh, and Throne of Blood is a re-working of Macbeth.

Everyone does it, be it hommage, rip-off or re-boot. I'm sure the movie will do fine and we'll still love the original.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Without having seen the anime, I can say the premise should work well in a live action and western setting. I'm pretty there was already a similar comedy movie done.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Will it be in english then?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This has a "flop" written all over it.

All Hollywood movie adaptations of Manga/Anime failed including Gunnm that I just came of theater last Friday. The only Manga/Anime movie expected to break this curse is the Chinese studio produced Gundam.

Beside, they have to keep the ethnicity of lead characters Japanese/Japanese American played by Asian actors(Chinese are OK) or the Social Justice Warrior crowd will badmouth this movie and will tank it, guaranteed.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

All Hollywood movie adaptations of Manga/Anime failed including Gunnm that I just came of theater last Friday.

Actually, Alita is doing better than projected. It might still not make enough, but so far it is too early to tell. It also has 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Just because it might financially bomb, doesn't mean it isn't a good movie. Or are you going to tell me Blade Runner 2049 was a bad film just because it didn't make money but has a positive review score of 87%?

The only Manga/Anime movie expected to break this curse is the Chinese studio produced Gundam.

Not this again. You need to stop. Legendary is a 100% American studio with a Chinese parent company. Just like Chrysler is still an American car company even though they are owned by Fiat. When's the last time you heard someone say they owned an Italian Ram pickup? Never. The only thing the Chinese will have to do with the production of the American Gundam film is sticking a couple of domestic Chinese celebrities in it to boost Chinese ticket sales.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Remakes after Remakes, that's what Americans can do.

If Asians (Japan and South Korea) remake, they do 2/10 ratio in a year.

But Americans do about 5/10 ratio a year

Plus the main thing about remakes is that Americans make it worse but Asian does it quite well remake.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Your Name was a flawless flim. JJ Abrams and his team need to do this right.

I hope the remake ends up being a bit more original instead of a scene-for-scene replica of Your Name. We all know how Disney butchers remakes of brilliant animated films, so I hope his team will do this movie justice with a bit of his own flair.

As for if I think it's "whitewashing", I think if this is just a scene for scene remake, then I'd say it's "whitewashing", because it'd obviously be just a cashgrab. If not, then I have slight hopes of this being a good movie.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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