There’s some hope they get a live-action anime adaptation right. Maybe?
Hollywood, in its infinite wisdom, wants to find the next big thing. This time it is an adaptation of Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name, the highest grossing anime film in history. According to IndieWire, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Japan-based Toho Co. are teaming up to make the feature for Paramount Pictures. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer (Arrival) will handle scriptwriting duties.
Your Name drew considerable attention not only for its box office gross but because of its spectacular visuals and memorable story. The animated film was screened for critics late last year and won Los Angeles Film Critics Association for Best Animated Film. Now even though Bad Robot will produce the picture, J.J. Abrams isn’t necessarily going to direct the picture. He has his hands filled with bringing Star Wars: Episode IX to fruition.
The animated film deals with two teenagers who, for reasons unknown, body swap occasionally. Yet, there is something else that connects these two that isn’t so easily explained. It will be difficult to adapt the story of Your Name without removing many of the elements that make the film memorable. The memorable soundtrack from Japanese band Radwimps, not going to make it. The beautiful scenery that is only able to be created by computers? That probably won’t make the cut either. What we’ll probably be left with is just the bones of the story, a cute body swap teenage comedy without many of the elements that make Your Name special. Perhaps most of all director Makoto Shinkai‘s involvement of the material. Without him involved, there’s little chance the quality of the film translates over.
Right now the English-version of Your Name doesn’t even have a script. If it is anything like Akira, we’ll be waiting a long time for this to actually happen. Things could be worse. It could end up like Death Note.