Naruto live-action movie in the works from Shang-Chi director

The heyday of live-action anime adaptations continues unabated as the Naruto movie is finally moving forward. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Destin Daniel Cretton – director and co-writer of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings – is on board to write and direct the live-action Naruto movie for Lionsgate.

The movie will be based on the Naruto manga by Masashi Kishimoto, which was serialized from 1999 to 2014. Both the manga and its anime adaptation are among the most popular of all time, following a young ninja who wants to become the leader of his village.

“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. “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 Naturo. 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.”

As THR notes, Lionsgate has been trying to get this movie off the ground since 2015. Nearly a decade later, hiring Cretton should finally get the ball rolling.

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THR also reports that Cretton will produce the movie alongside Hisako’s Jeyun Munford and Avi Arad, Ari Arad, and Emmy Yu of Arad Productions.

Cretton isn’t done with Marvel just yet, though. While he stepped away from directing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (which will likely end up with a different name), he is the creator of the upcoming Wonder Man series and is also developing a Shang-Chi sequel.

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