Shang-Chi’s Destin Daniel Cretton to Direct Live-Action Naruto Film at Lionsgate

© 岸本斉史 スコット/​集英社・​テレビ東京・​ぴえろ

The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) will direct and co-write the Lionsgate’s upcoming live-action film adaptation of Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto manga series. 

Cretton will also serve as the film’s producer, alongside Jeyun Munford through his production company, Hisako. They join Avi Arad, Ari Arad, and Emmy Yu of Arad Productions, as well as producer Jeremy Latcham

Kishimoto provided an official statement on Naruto’s live-action adaptation and gave Cretton his blessing to make it, saying: 

When I heard of Destin’s attachment, it happened to be right after watching a blockbuster action film of his, and I thought he would be the perfect director for Naruto. 

After enjoying his other films and understanding that his forte is in creating solid dramas about people, I became convinced that there is no other director for Naturo. In actually meeting Destin, I also found him to be an open-minded director who was willing to embrace my input, and felt strongly that we would be able to cooperate together in the production process.

Lionsgate and Arad Productions first announced the production of a live-action film for Naruto in July 2015. Michael Gracey was originally set to direct the film before leaving the project on the date Cretton was hired to helm it. Screenwriter Tasha Huo was brought on to write the film’s script in November 2023. 

The original Naruto manga series ran in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump from September 21, 1999 to November 10, 2014, with a total of 72 tankoubon volumes released. A sequel manga titled Boruto, which is illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto, began serialization in Weekly Shonen Jump in May 9, 2016, before moving to V Jump monthly magazine in July 2019. Twenty-one tankoubon volumes have been released as of February 2024. 

naruto manga volume one cover
© Masashi Kishimoto, Shueisha

The first Naruto TV anime series aired from October 3, 2002 to February 8, 2007. The follow-up sequel, Naruto: Shippuden, aired from February 15, 2007 to March 23, 2017. Studio Pierrot produced the animation for both anime series. Crunchyroll streamed all the episodes in English for select countries and territories. 

Viz Media licensed the anime and manga for North American release, describing the first series volume as:

Twelve years ago the Village Hidden in the Leaves was attacked by a fearsome threat. A nine-tailed fox spirit claimed the life of the village leader, the Hokage, and many others. Today, the village is at peace and a troublemaking kid named Naruto is struggling to graduate from Ninja Academy. His goal may be to become the next Hokage, but his true destiny will be much more complicated. The adventure begins now!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

William Moo is a freelance writer who has previously written for OTAQUEST and MANGA.TOKYO. He enjoys watching lots of anime every season and reading from time to time. You can follow him on Twitter @thewriterSITB.
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