Hollywood director, Michael Gracey, has been a huge Naruto fan, and has even been tagged with directing the live-action Hollywood adaptation of Masashi Kishimoto’s classic ninja manga. However, with the recent failures of many Hollywood adaptations of Japanese works, it seems that The Greatest Showman director isn’t too keen on being at the helm of the project.

The director recently talked to Collider about the planned live-action Naruto, where he said:

“I don’t know [if it will be my next film], to be honest. You know Kishimoto, who created the original series, he’s just a genius. So many Hollywood adaptations of really popular manga series just don’t get it right, and for me what was really important was that if I was gonna do Naruto, I wanted to actually work with Kishimoto and get a script to a stage where he would look at it and be excited about realizing it. Because no one knows the world better than the person who created it.

So for me, as it stands, we’re still working on the script. Because until that script is at a level that I’m excited about, I have no interest in destroying an amazing franchise, as has happened before. But I think the great thing is that everyone involved, from Lionsgate to the producers, are all of the same mind. Everyone knows how precious this property is and to me it’s incredibly exciting, and I love the work that I’ve gotten to do on it to date. At this stage, no one is going to go into production until we’ve got a script that excites everyone. So whether it’s my next one or not, I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.”

So yeah, if Kishimoto isn’t involved or doesn’t like the script, he ain’t gonna go on board, believe it! And in fact, it seems that Kishimoto is getting involved with the movie’s production himself. Shounen Jump previously stated that he’s also very excited for the adaptation.

They’ve been tagging Gracey with the project since 2015, and this is the first time we’ve heard any updates about the Hollywood project since 2016. The rumors of the film surfaced back in 2015 when it was reported that Lionsgate has bought the rights to adapt Kishimoto’s manga into a live-action film.

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