Lionsgate is making a ‘Naruto’ live-action film and I am worried!


Lionsgate is ready to bring Naruto into the realm of live-action films and I am more than just concerned. Hollywood doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to adapting manga/anime series to the bid screen and there’s a huge possibility it will be another failure.

Lionsgate presented successful franchises like The Hunger Games, Divergent and even The Expendables to the world. The studio is also bringing back Power Rangers. That’s why it makes sense they want the well-known Naruto franchise under their banner too. According to Variety, Michael Gracey will be directing the film, however, there’s no news if the story will involve Naruto Part 1 or start from Shippuden.

The thing I’m concerned about is Hollywood’s penchant of white-washing characters. I know one can argue that Naruto and his teammates, except perhaps Bee and other ninjas from the Land of Lightening, aren’t dark skinned, but that argument doesn’t have any merit to begin with. The characters in Naruto obviously have Asian characteristics, the same as the cast of The Legend of Korra, no matter how ‘white’ they might appear to some viewers in the anime.

I’m still not over Scarlet Johansson being cast as the lead in Ghost in the Shell and I’m not looking forward to the storm Naruto’s casting is going to cause.

Other live-action adaptations of a popular manga and anime series like Dragon Ball: Evolution and The Last Airbender were met with negative reviews and didn’t perform well at the box office. This shows that when studios want to cater to franchises that already have a world spanning fanbase they need to tread very carefully when it comes to adapting material to the big screen.

I will keep you all updated regarding the Naruto live-action adaptation.

What are your thoughts about the Naruto live-action film? Who do you think should play the famous manga characters? Let us know!

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.


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