Lionsgate Ramping Up ‘Naruto’ Movie with Michael Gracey

Naruto_Movie Lionsgate
Courtesy of Shueisha

Lionsgate has signed Michael Gracey to direct an adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series “Naruto.”

The studio is in negotiations for the film rights to the “Naruto” series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto, first published in 1997. The manga, which has sold more than 200 million copies in print, follows adolescent ninja Naruto Uzumaki, who dreams of becoming the village ninja, the community’s protector and leader.

Avi Arad and his son Ari Arad are producing through Arad Productions. Erik Feig, Geoff Shaveitz and Kelly O’Malley will oversee for the studio.

“Naruto” has generated an anime series in Japan that premiered in 2002 and lasted 220 episodes, while the “Naruto: Shippuden” sequel has been airing since 2007. In addition to the anime series, Studio Pierrot has developed 10 movies.

Gracey is a former visual effects specialist who has moved into directing. He’s been attached to several studio projects that are in development — Universal’s adaptation of the New York Times best-seller “Daughter of Smoke and Bone,” his Elton John biopic “Rocketman” with Tom Hardy attached and Fox’s P.T. Barnum biopic “The Greatest Showman on Earth.”

Gracey is repped by CAA.

News was first reported by The Tracking Board.

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  1. tony says:

    I disagree with such a fanbase everyone’s gonna wanna watch it the problem is making it so good you wanna see it again the way live actions have been going if lionsgate keeps up with live actions recently then could be good pehaps not true to the series however who cares did u see Naruto movies not relevant to the story really but still good

  2. Frank says:

    I know Naruto’s popular worldwide and all, but that doens’t mean you can just adapt it into a live action film and expect to make money. This is the dumbest idea I’ve heard since that rumour that they are trying to adapt FMP and stary Zac Efron. If they really go through with this then expect a disaster worse than The Last Airbender! At best it’ll be weeb the movie, at worst, well, we have a new most rotten on rotten tomatoes

  3. dragonballgo says:

    The Last – Naruto the Movie is a sluggish animated feature that only offers the big milestone fans have been clamoring for between Naruto and Hinata. This feels like it stretches out a thin concept and over complicates it just to make it work.

    • Sakura Yakushi says:

      Naruto loves Sakura, not Hinata. The Last was BS. Making false flashbacks to try to push a false pairing. Naruto has always loved Sakura and Sakura had started to have feelings for Naruto. Then Kishimoto decided to throw that all away for a useless girl who never did anything.. unlike Sakura. Sakura is an amazing female character who actually saved Naruto’s life rather than get in the way like Hinata did.

      • ashley says:

        LMFAOOO someone mad butt hurt. sakura mad useless. Hinata tried fighting pain for her man. that’s love

      • Dartagnan Russom says:

        Butt hurt Naru/Saku fan. They weren’t false flashbacks. Just because we didn’t see them or their entirety doesn’t mean it was false. Honestly Naruhina was from the beginning if you saw Kishimoto’s first drawing of Hinata, then you would have seen Naruto in the background. Seriously it’s children like you who go around acting butt hurt about every little thing that doesn’t go your way, that make me cringe and weep for humanity. Naruhina is cannon, Your little misshapen universe of an abusive Naru/Saku pairing is weak and unrealistic seeing as Sakura still loved the Hebi-teme Saucegay. There was no grounds for the basis that Naru/saku would be cannon. Oh you say she said she loved him? What’s to say she didn’t mean that as brother/sister love. Oh you say she has saved his ass? Well that’s what teammates do, that and she was almost completely useless in Naruto before Shippuden. Hinata saved his ass against Pein. Even if it was a useless endevor. You didn’t see Sakura run down guns blazing to save him did you? Nope? Well then that show how much Sakura truly loved him. If she did it wouldn’t have mattered if she would be able to win, it would be about helping him. Oh well I just smashed a good bit of your little argument there. .

    • York says:

      Aye that latest Baruto movie was fire though.

  4. Gemnist says:

    WHY?? Just… WHY?? And by that I refer to the live-action, cause you can’t do live-action Naruto; we need more anime films like Astro Boy. I’m also a bit disappointed because I myself wanted to write novels based on Naruto… well, at least that’s still possible.

  5. If “The Last” lacks some of the emotional punch of the previous feature, “The Road to Ninja,” Kobayashi compensates with flamboyant visuals that mix CG, drawn animation and elegant calligraphic figures.

  6. Joshua Brown says:

    If the live action Death Note movies, as well as the live action movie for Gantz are anything to go on. All I can say is, thanks but I’ll pass.

  7. Duder NME says:

    “Believe it!”

    No, Naruto. I’d rather not.

  8. R.C. says:

    Dragonball Evolution 2: Electric Boogaloo

  9. I am personally very confused when you say Naruto wants to become just a “village ninja” because he wanted to become Hokage – the leader of the entire village- since the beggining …

    • They’re ruining the anime on purpose. Assmerica industries are famous for ruining anime in live reaction movies. Look at live reaction Street Fighter,Tekken, King of Fighters,Dragonball Evolution and there’s plenty more to go. The only good live reaction movie based on an anime that I have seen is Rurouni Kenshin. Everything else I have seen was far off on detail following the anime character features and most of the time stories.

  10. Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie is an under par anime film that seems to ride the wave of reputation instead of actually delivering a fantastic animated film.

  11. Uzumaki Raina says:

    oh no they will fuck this movie badly. and naruto promotes such violence? REALLY? *laughing* its just an anime, not some isis videos. get real, morons. stop making fuss abt a nonsense arguments.

  12. Ritchy Manuel says:

    Man…. They don’t give up. They already had the dragonball evolution and now this… this will turn to a crap when they touch it.

  13. idun215 says:

    This movie is bound to be a disaster i will not even watch it when they reveal the characters are white with japanese names. Hollywood will probably ruin the storyline like they did with DBZ. Hell lets make it a true disaster and have M Night Shymalan direct this movie because he already ruined one beloved animation with his Avatar the Last airbender movie.

  14. Sunao says:

    All Japanese still remember what Hollywood had done to DBZ. Please just don’t do it. They can’t don’t it. Please don’t even think about it. Hollywood just doesn’t have respect to Japanese masterpieces.

  15. seb says:

    “who dreams of becoming the village ninja, the community’s protector and leader?” – Did anyone else cringe when they read this line? :/ If your gonna report, at least get the details right :/

  16. Kia says:

    Yes I am sure this movie will be pretty big. Naruto needs more media, there’s so many messages behind it and I hope more people realise this in the up coming future.

    • SMH says:

      So many messages behind it.
      Like hardwork and determination can beat a natural talent. Oh wait that was overwritten in the end.
      The message of Destiny can be changed. Oops that was made into “You can only change destiny if you are destined to change it”.
      Then there was the one where you say you never give up but you end up giving up anyways when it comes to love.
      Then there is no matter how many times the guy tries to kill you, you must always love him.
      Oh and Stalking gets you the man you love. ; )

  17. this could work if the film has a great story as for the cast we all know the film will be white washed

  18. Daniels says:

    Dear lord, why does Hollywood need to make a live-action out of everything. The obsession with older Disney films and now an abundance with anime; Death Note, Ghost in Shell, and now this?

    • Chester says:

      Japan does it more than Hollywood with their anime adaptations (by the way, Hollywood had nothing to do with Death Note). And in the case of older Disney movies, most of the “live-action versions” you’re thinking of are completely unrelated to the Disney movies they’re “based on” because they, like the Disney movies, are actually based on the folklore and other public domain stories themselves. Maleficent is the only recent movie that even partially fits what you’re complaining about.

  19. Emma says:

    This is cringeworthy. Please someone tell me it’s a joke. Shonen anime isn’t meant to be made live-action. I would have thought Hollywood learned it’s lesson after blunders like Dragon Ball.

  20. Sarah Mann says:

    I was a major fan of Naruto until I realized it is a children’s story that celebrates slavery and genocide as good. That is not a good message to send to children today.

    • adam says:

      not only is naruto not a children’s story, *it’s a older teen;s manga/anime) but what’s this about slavery and genocide?.. you should actually read/watch Naruto instead of judging it and making up stories about it

      • Gemnist says:

        Just to correct videogamep for errors and get on Ryu’s case: Mitsuki IS Orochimaru’s son (though he won’t say HOW), and it’s stated in the light novels that Sasuke got Naruto to reveal it, as both of them got proof from Itachi himself, and that Shikamaru basically went United Nations on the shinobi system, thereby stimulating mass economic growth and CHANGE. The elders, meanwhile, are probably all dead. Oh – and NH and SS suck, thanks SMH.

      • bloodyredfox says:

        Are u high??? i just couldnt help but comment!!!
        slavery? genocide? u r the one who’s like the elders dammit!!
        like that guy said there have been reforms in the village, its sakuras own fault btw to marry sasuke, whom i really pity now, and wtf do u mean by ‘orochimaru’s son’???
        it was itachis wish that the truth of the massacre to be not known to sasuke so kakashi and naruto had to keep quite about it, eventually sasuke did come to know about it!
        and what do u mean by naruto gaiden being trash?

      • SMH says:

        Don’t forget the relationship abuse that is made to look ok. Sasuke tried to kill Sakura on 3 occasions and that was all smoothed over by a “I’m sorry”. And Sakura never stopped loving him.

      • videogamep says:

        I hope you’re trolling, but on the off chance that you’re not I’ll address each point you made.
        1. The Uchiha massacre was never treated as a good thing, they even had Shisui try to stop it, a plan that only failed because of Danzo (who was always framed as a villain).
        2. The Uchiha were hardly oppressed since they served as the village police force. They only tried a coup because they grew mistrustful of the village leadership (which was traditionally Senju)
        3. They never said that Orochimaru was continuing his human experiments after the end of the series. The guy there (I forget his name) was implied to have been from an experiment he did before then.
        4. It was never confirmed that the mystery kid from the trailer was Orochimaru’s son.
        5. Naruto and Kakashi had no proof beyond the word of a known criminal who had just threatened that world’s equivalent of the UN.
        6. The elders were never shown again after Naruto was Hokage.
        7. The system that he talked about changing was the constant mistrust and warfare between villages, which seems to have been accomplished since the last chapter (and the entire war arc) implies that there’s considerable friendship between the villages now.
        8. The villains weren’t framed as evil because of their goals, they were framed as evil because of their methods (trapping everyone in what amounts to the Matrix). Naruto was framed as good precisely because he wanted to fix things.
        9. Even if everything you said is true, none of that is “imperialist”.
        10. I thought the Gaiden was fine, nothing special but nothing awful.

        I’m hardly one to call Naruto great, but everything you said is way off. Naruto is one of the least subtle manga I’ve read and isn’t the type of thing to have hidden agendas.

      • Ryu says:

        I read the whole thing from beginning to end and what Sarah above says is correct. The Uchiha clan massacre was ultimately treated as a good thing (how dare the Uchiha try to rebel against a system that was oppressing them!), nothing was done to stop the slavery in the Hyuuga clan (as far as we know, the main branch/sub branch division still exists), the main character has done nothing to stop Orochimaru from continuing his human experimentation despite being Hokage (in fact Orochimaru’s own son is now on a ninja team with Naruto’s kid!), no one knows that Itachi was ordered to kill his entire clan by the village leaders (both Kakashi and Naruto decided to continue covering it up–in fact, the village elders who were complicit in what happened are still part of the council even today), and NOTHING has been done to change the system now that Naruto is in power, despite the fact that he promised he would change it.

        ALL OF THIS was part of the manga. It was also part of the manga that all of Kishimoto’s villains were guys who went against the system and wanted change, that ninjas should ENDURE and not make change. Perhaps it is you who should should actually read/watch Naruto, “look underneath the underneath,” and pay attention to the toxic, imperialist messages that the manga is really spreading.

        Anyway, the Naruto fandm is currently in shambles. After the utter trash that was Naruto Gaiden, few of Naruto’s fans have anything positive to say about the series or its creator anymore. I have no idea who will watch this movie. Lionsgate is throwing their money away.

  21. A Naruto movie could work if this had the same level of commitment that Peter Jakson had with the Lord Of the Rings Trilogy. Unfortunately, that idea is far far away from reality…

  22. Paully says:

    Worried that the Suits will change its Japanese nature. Hollywood has yet to figure out how to tap the Manga/Japanimation gold mine. One tip .. Don’t piss off the fans.

    • Rachael says:

      Yeah kinda worried they’re going to Westernize it to hell. I mean, look what happened to that piece of shit DBZ live action movie.

  23. hehehe says:

    Is this a live action film or animated?

  24. adam says:

    as a fan of he Naruto manga and anime.. i shutter at the thought of a US made live action version of Naruto being made,

    • Liam Scanlan says:

      Actually, as the Tracking Board article used as a source for this one, and the interview between the film’s producer, Avi Arad, and the manga’s creator, Masashi Kishimoto, which was published in Weekly Shonen Jump, the magazine that serialized it, at the time of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″‘s Japanese release, suggest, Mr. Arad is a fan of “Naruto” himself, apparently.
      Given this, and the fact that Arad has connections with Japanese animation companies such as Production I.G and Shirogumi, which have most recently resulted in the former co-producing the live-action remake of their “Ghost in the Shell” anime movie, as well as in the former Marvel Studios head being the executive producer in Shirogumi’s also-upcoming “Gamba” movie (That one will be released earlier than “Ghost in the Shell”, though.), I guess that he may be a fan both of manga and of anime.

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