In the latest of a long line of Hollywood attempts at adapting classic anime films as live-action blockbusters, Paramount, Bad Robot Productions, and Toho have tapped Raya and the Last Dragon co-director Carlos López Estrada to direct the live-action feature adaptation of Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name.
- Currently in development, the film is based on the 2016 modern anime classic Your Name, directed by Makoto Shinkai and produced by Comix Wave Films. Shinkai’s film decimated Japanese box office records and finished its Japanese domestic run at $233.8 million. In the U.S., it grossed $5 million, an impressive haul for a non-franchise anime feature at that time.
- In addition to directing, López Estrada is writing an updated screenplay, working from an original version penned by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer (Arrival). J.J. Abrams is producing for Bad Robot with Hannah Minghella and Jon Cohen. Genki Kawamura, the producer of the orgiinal, is also producing the new adaptation.
- The live-action remake has seen different writers and directors come and go since it was initially announced back in 2017. Besides Heisserer, Emily V. Gordon also wrote a version of the screenplay, while both Marc Webb and Lee Isaac Chung were attached to direct at one point.
- Toho will distribute the film in Japan, with Paramount handling the rest of the world.
- Although his greatest commercial success came with Disney’s Oscar-nominated Raya and the Last Dragon, López Estrada does have an impressive history in live-action filmmaking as well. His debut feature Blindspotting premiered at Sundance in 2018 and was one of the most buzzed-up titles coming out of that year’s festival, eventually earning him a DGA award for directorial achievement of a first-time filmmaker. He’s also an accomplished music video director and has worked with Billie Eilish, Katy Perry, Clipping, and Cuco.
- López Estrada is also currently developing an animated documentary at Nexus Studios in the U.K. and a live-action adaptation of Disney’s Robin Hood. In July of this year, he joined the commercial roster of filmmakers at Nexus.
- Your Name is just one in a long line of distinguished anime and manga titles that Hollywood has tried to adapt to live action. Notable anime projects that eventually made it live action are the Cowboy Bebop series at Netflix, Ghost in the Shell, Alita: Battle Angel, and Speed Racer, while stories about U.S. attempts at live-action remakes of Akira and Berserk have been around for years.