As reported by The Verge, JJ Abrams and Paramount Pictures are planning to adapt the popular anime film Your Name into a live-action feature. Your Name was number one at the Japanese box office for twelve weeks in 2016, but can JJ Abrams replicate what made that film so successful without animation?
More About the Live Action Adaptation of Your Name
Your Name follows a girl and a boy as they discover they can switch bodies. After this discovery, they use this ability to cross time and space, trying to stop a terrible disaster. The original film was extremely well regarded, as well as being popular. The movie’s screenplay won a Japan Academy Prize, and the film as a whole won several other awards. This acclaim and popularity mean that there’s a lot of pressure on JJ Abrams, especially because of the recent history of anime live action adaptations.
There has been a recent problem that American studios just can’t seem to shake when it comes to anime live action films. Back in March of this year, Scarlett Johanssen starred in a live-action adaptation of the popular anime franchise Ghost in the Shell. Critics accused Ghost in the Shell of two things: whitewashing their story by casting Scarlett Johanssen and being a lackluster film. Paramount Pictures was behind that film as well, and this comparison is already scaring fans of Your Name. Just last month, Netflix released a live-action film adaptation of Death Note starring Nat Wolff. That film was subject to the same criticisms. Is it possible for American studios to make a great live action film out of an anime property?
Maybe, but they don’t seem to have figured out the formula to do so yet. However, JJ Abrams plans to work with the original production company of Your Name, Toho Co., Ltd, which may be the collaboration that gives the film’s desired audience some faith that this film won’t end up a derided mess like Ghost in the Shell or Death Note.