The Future of Naruto: A Live-Action Adaptation

In a surprising turn of events, the live-action adaptation of the popular anime series Naruto has finally found its writer. Tasha Huo, known for her work on Netflix’s The Witcher: Blood Origin and the upcoming Tomb Raider animated show, has been chosen to pen the script for the highly anticipated film. This announcement comes after years of uncertainty and silence regarding the project, with the last update being in 2015 when director Michael Gracey took on the venture.

The recent success of Netflix’s live-action adaptation of One Piece has undoubtedly played a role in reviving other abandoned projects. The global popularity of anime has made it a lucrative market for filmmakers, who see the opportunity to introduce these stories to a wider audience. Naruto, created by renowned mangaka Masashi Kishimoto, is a household name in the world of Shonen anime, standing alongside legendary series like Dragon Ball Z and One Piece.

Tasha Huo, recognized by Variety as one of the top screenwriters to watch in 2023, brings a wealth of talent and experience to the Naruto adaptation. In an interview, she expressed her enthusiasm for working on projects involving iconic characters or intellectual properties (IPs). According to Huo, the existing passion for these characters makes the writing process more manageable and allows her to explore compelling human stories. As a fan herself, she is excited to contribute to the Naruto universe and create a story that will resonate with both new audiences and longtime fans.

Despite the excitement surrounding the Naruto live-action movie, there is cause for apprehension. Historically, Hollywood has struggled with anime adaptations, often missing the mark in terms of staying true to the source material. Films like Dragon Ball: Evolution, Death Note, and Ghost in the Shell received significant criticism for veering away from the core themes and casting non-Japanese actors in lead roles.

However, Netflix’s success with One Piece provides a glimmer of hope for the future of live-action anime adaptations. The series, which has already been renewed for a second season, has captivated both fans and newcomers alike. Its faithful portrayal of the source material and diverse casting choices have set a new standard for these types of projects.

Naruto follows the journey of the titular character, Naruto Uzumaki, a teenage shinobi ostracized by his village after being sealed with the spirit of a demonic fox. Determined to become the Hokage, the leader of the village, Naruto embarks on a coming-of-age quest filled with friendships, grueling exams, and battles against formidable adversaries, including a sinister scientist capable of transforming into a serpent.

Thanks to Toonami, Naruto gained a significant following in the Western realm. The anime was split into two halves: Naruto and Naruto: Shippuden, with the latter picking up the story after a two-and-a-half-year time jump. The gradual character development throughout the series captivated viewers and contributed to its enduring popularity.

While details about the live-action Naruto adaptation remain scarce, fans can rejoice in the fact that progress is being made. With Tasha Huo on board as the writer and a renewed interest in anime adaptations, there is hope that the beloved series will receive the faithful and captivating adaptation it deserves. Only time will tell if Hollywood can break its streak of disappointing anime adaptations and truly bring the world of Naruto to life on the big screen.

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