The rights for the popular Japanese animation Kimi No Na Wa or Your Name was acquired back in 2017. J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions partnered with Toho Co. (the original producers) and Paramount Pictures to bring the anime to life. Since the initial announcement, there’s been radio silence on any development of the project — until now.
It came out recently that a script for the adaptation had finally been chosen. Penning the script is Academy Award nominee Eric Heisserer, best known for his work on Arrival and recent hit Bird Box. In an interview with /film he shares that his pitch had actually been chosen out of 20 or 30 other versions.
While he doesn’t go into any details of the pitch or possible changes he’s made to the story, he does give one telling hint: the entire story will become more westernized. He shares: “You have to find the best iteration of that story based on the fact that they want an American live-action version of the film. They [Toho Co] stated if they wanted a Japanese live-action version, they would just do it themselves. But they want to see it through the lens of a western viewpoint.”
He tries to ease any trepidation by saying it will not be “a Ghost in the Shell-like version”. Hopefully, this means no whitewashing or giant disappointments. Many believe that the problem with Hollywood remakes is that they leave out the magic and fantasy elements found in anime — usually because they’re unable to execute it. A western version may not be what fans want but it could be a good opportunity for the studio to make a meaningful adaptation rather than a cheap imitation.
Kimi No Nawa was written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. It is a body-switching story told through the perspective of two male and female high school students. There has been no news as of yet on a release date.
What do you think about having a ‘westernized’ version of this anime?