Ever since The Hunger Games franchise ended, Lionsgate has been looking for their next big tentpole franchise. Power Rangers was supposed to be that movie. However, Box Office numbers show that the general audience did not give two craps about that movie.
Plans to make a bajilion Power Rangers sequels have since been scrapped. Next up for Lionsgate is Naruto.
Naruto is one of those properties that EVERYBODY. It kinda reminds me of Super Junior’s Sorry Sorry. Or Maria Ozawa. Whether you’re a K-pop fan or not, you know Sorry Sorry. Whether you’re the reincarnation of the devil himself, like me or the Buddha’s best friend, you know who Maria Ozawa is. The same can be said about Naruto.
According to an exclusive news by The Hollywood Reporter, this live action adaptation of the popular anime/manga series is getting a rewrite by the brothers who penned Red and Red 2, Jon and Erich Hoeber. Admittedly, I’m not the biggest anime fan, but this doesn’t seem like a good move. Naruto is a dense anime with years and years worth of stories and character development. Hiring the brothers who have made a career either writing somewhat enjoyable action comedies or more than terrible action miseries *cough* Battleship *cough* does not seem like a wise move.
I’m not saying Naruto needs to be a dense philosophical film. This isn’t Ghost in a Shell — which Hollywood failed at also. Naruto is about a young kid who’s a ninja and runs around in a manner that suggests he skipped PE throughout his schooling years. Besides running weirdly, he can also turn into this badass known as nine-tail and beat the crap outta people. So yes, this needs to be an action movie. But more than that, it needs to be a fantasy movie about ninjas and chakras and special abilities. A sense of wonder and awe needs to be present in this film. And that is something I’m not sure the Hoeber brothers can accomplish.
Hey, you’ll never know. Eric Heisserer, the guy who penned Arrival, one of the best Sci-Fi films of the decade, if not all time, previously wrote Final Destination 5. Perhaps the Hoebers can pull it off.
Former VFX artist, Michael Gracey is set to direct this film. He will be making his directorial debut with The Greatest Showman later this year.