J. J. Abrams to Produce a Live-Action Remake of Makoto Shinkai’s Animated Blockbuster “Your Name”
Makoto Shinkai’s hit Your Name made quite a splash when it hit theatres last year – it earned over $3,5 million worldwide, becoming the highest grossing Japanese animation ever.Now, merely a year after its release, Variety reports that the gorgeously animated love story will be made into a Hollywood live-action film.
Produced by J. J. Abrams, the project will be realized by Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot, while Eric Heisserer, known for the blockbuster Arrival (which brought him an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay in 2016), will work on the script.Although this sounds like a cinematic dream team, it is difficult not to be skeptical about the project, especially considering how similar remakes have fared in the past. Hollywood’s take on popular Japanese animations like Death Note, Ghost in the Shell, Dragon Ball Evolution and Astro Boy have been huge box office disappointments despite featuring the talent of well-known actors and filmmakers. Worse still, they have been widely criticized for whitewashing Japanese characters – an unacceptable and very troubling trend that Hollywood seems reluctant to shake.
The story of Your Name revolves around two complete strangers – a girl living in a small Japanese mountain town and a boy from Tokyo – who one day wake up to find that they have switched bodies. Confused and irritated at first, the two teenagers slowly begin to forge a strong bond until a shocking twist threatens to tear them apart.
(If you are not familiar with Your Name you can watch its trailer below.)
It is an opulent and beautiful genre-bending fantasy which bears certain similarities to some of the films produced by Abrams in the past. If it is helmed by the right director and features the right cast, Your Name‘s remake can become just as delightful and charming as its source material. Only time will tell, of course, but we very much hope that Hollywood has finally learned from its mistakes!