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Lionsgate Inks ‘Naruto’ Live-Action Film Deal

Studio taps director Destin Daniel Cretton to write and direct the adaptation of Masashi Kishimoto’s hugely popular manga.

Lionsgate has just announced a deal with director Destin Daniel Cretton (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) to write and direct a live-action adaptation of Masashi Kishimoto's manga classic Naruto. According to the studio, the hugely popular IP has had more than 250 million copies printed in more than 60 countries and territories. Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chair Adam Fogelson shared the news today.

“It was a true honor to meet Kishimoto-san in Tokyo and hear his expansive vision for his creation,” said Cretton. “We are very excited to collaborate and bring Naruto to the big screen.”

“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 ‘Naruto.’ 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. To put it simply, the live-action Naruto is bound to be a film with spectacular action and profound drama. I can’t help but be excited for it.”

Fogelson added, “This manga classic is beloved by millions of fans all around the world, and Destin has delivered a vision for the movie that we believe will excite that massive fan base as well as those who are new to it. Avi and I have had the pleasure of working together before, and I know that as we collaborate with Destin and the team on Naruto, we are in extraordinary hands.”

“’Naruto’ is one of the greatest manga ever written that has captivated hearts and minds globally,” said producers Avi and Ari Arad. “Collaborating with the legendary Kishimoto-san and the esteemed team at Shueisha has been a joy and an honor. We are beyond excited to have Destin at the helm, bringing this cherished saga to life under the Lionsgate banner.”

Avi Arad, Ari Arad, and Emmy Yu produce for Arad Productions with Jeremy Latcham. Cretton is producing alongside Jeyun Munford through his company, Hisako.  

Cretton previously collaborated with Lionsgate on the film The Glass Castle. The studio’s James Myers, who oversaw that project, will also oversee Naruto alongside Jon Humphrey.

Bonnie Stylides oversaw the negotiations for the deal with Lionsgate. WME and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher represented Cretton.

Source: Lionsgate

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.