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Of course a live-action Naruto movie is coming from a big Hollywood studio

Everyone's wishing for a Rasengan-level hit, but let's be cautious.

Naruto attacking
Image credit: VIZ Media

The writer behind Netflix's Tomb Raider animated series and the Red Sonja reboot is working on translating Naruto into live-action for Lionsgate.

The news were buried under Variety's list of screenwriters to watch for released last week, as part of Tasha Huo's profile. The animated Tomb Raider series for Netflix only unveiled a short teaser trailer two months ago, but it's already one of the streamer's most exciting upcoming projects based on a video game IP. The Red Sonja theatrical reboot, meanwhile, could go either way, as the project has faced its share of creative ups and downs. Still, it's quite apparent that Hollywood studios are seeing something special in Huo's writing for adaptations of big IPs, as you don't bag a gig as coveted as the live-action take on Naruto without making executives elsewhere happy first.

The feature adaptation of the iconic anime is reportedly coming from Lionsgate and should still be in the early stages of development. Huo is also executive producing the animated series Mighty Nein for Amazon, as well as serving as the showrunner on the Tomb Raider animated series at Netflix and Legendary, and her Variety profile mentions she might have the right mindset for these jobs: "I’m so inspired by these characters already that it’s exciting to just take a part of their journey and try to tell that fun story in a way that would appeal to me as a fan." Of course, coming into a big IP project as a fan also has its downsides and has been a double-edged sword in recent times, so it remains to be seen whether she'll be able to hit the right balance between telling a story fans would love and realizing what must change in order to work in a different medium. Moreover, there's always the issue of what the studio thinks it wants, so there are many obstacles to overcome in order to make a solid live-action movie based on Naruto.

It comes as no surprise that Lionsgate is looking into more recognizable IPs to develop their portfolio past the John Wick and Hunger Games movies in the realm of blockbuster franchises, especially with the much-dreaded "superhero fatigue" becoming more of a reality in recent months. It now seems that, after the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, The Last of Us, and One Piece, among others, video game and anime adaptations could be the next big thing for Hollywood.


While you wait for Naruto's long-anticipated 20th-anniversary episodes, be sure to check out our gift guide ahead of Christmas and the complete watch order list you must follow to become a master shinobi.

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Fran Ruiz

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