Live-Action ‘Naruto’ Movie From ‘Shang-Chi’ Director In The Works

Get ready to see the Naruto run on the silver screen, as a live-action adaptation of the popular series is in the works at Lionsgate. The Naruto movie is based on the manga by Masashi Kishimoto, with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton tapped to write and helm.

Live-Action Naruto Movie

The filmmaker will also serve as co-producer on the project — which Kishimoto is overseeing —alongside Jeyun Munford’s company, Hisako. The pair joins Arad Productions’ Avi Arad, Ari Arad, and Emmy Yu, who are behind the upcoming live-action Borderlands film, and Jeremy Latcham (Dungeons & Dragons).

Cretton has gotten Kishimoto’s blessing in his meeting with the latter. “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,” said Kishimoto in a statement.

“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 Naruto. 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.”

A live-action Naruto movie has been long-gestating at Lionsgate, dating back to 2015 when the company acquired rights to it. Previously, Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) was reported to be attached, with Tasha Huo, the scribe for Netflix’s Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft animated series, tapped to pen the script. A release window for the film has yet to be set.

Largely regarded as one of the manga/anime heavyweights of all time, Naruto follows a young and enthusiastic ninja named Naruto Uzumaki who dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. However, he also happens to be the host of a nine-tailed demon fox spirit, and the long-running series tracks his coming-of-age, friendships, and many superpowered ninja battles.

The manga was serialised in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine from 1999 to 2014. In that time, it became one of the world’s most popular works, selling over 250 million copies in more than 60 countries and territories. The anime adaptation debuted in 2002 and was succeeded by Naruto Shippuden in 2007. The sequel concluded its run in 2017, the same year that Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, set after the events of Naruto and focusing on Boruto, Naruto’s son, got its own anime adaptation.