Makoto Shinkai’s sci-fi anime Your Name was one of the best films of last year and it was a huge box-office success, so we probably shouldn’t be too surprised by the news that an American live-action remake is in the works.
Paramount has announced that it is working with JJ Abrams and his Bad Robot partner Lindsey Weber to bring the story of two body-swapping teens to live-action. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s a lot more emotional and nuanced than you might expect from the basic pitch of “teenage city boy and teenage country girl have no control over switching bodies” and it’s a truly wonderful movie.
Encouragingly, the writer chosen to adapt Shinkai’s film is Eric Heisserer, who adapted Ted Chiang’s short story ‘The Story Of Your Life’ into the brilliant Arrival, which was also one of the best and most profoundly moving films of last year.
Genki Kawamura, the producer of the original film, will also produce the new film. He said “Just like in the film it feels like a dream. Mr Abrams and his team have captivated audiences in their masterful reinvention of known properties. And Mitsuha and Taki have found a perfect narrator, Mr Heisserer, to tell their sci-fi infused love story which gave the film such drive. The meetings so far have been creatively stimulating with fantastic ideas that no doubt will make for a great movie. I am greatly honoured to work with these incredible creators in bringing to audiences the Hollywood live action version of YOUR NAME.”
The iconic Japanese production company Toho is on board and will distribute the remake in Japan.
There’s no word about who will direct the film yet, and we obviously have a lot of concerns, ranging from the usual concerns about a great film being remade to the usual concerns about a Japanese story being adapted for live action (we’ll certainly be watching the casting process with great interest).
In the meantime, THR had a statement from Shinkai, who said “Your Name is a film created with the innate imaginations of a Japanese team and put together in a domestic medium. When such a work is imbued with Hollywood filmmaking, we may see new possibilities that we had been completely unaware of. I am looking forward to the live-action film with excited anticipation.”
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