Let me be clear that the OMG in the title was said with dread more than excitement. And the next word pretty much explains why is that so. Yeah, I know…I’m still trying to recover from the shock and despair as also try to find the words to write this news, but here’s an excerpt from Variety:
Lionsgate has signed Michael Gracey to direct an adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series “Naruto.”
The studio is in negotiations for the film rights to the “Naruto” series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto, first published in 1997. The manga, which has sold more than 200 million copies in print, follows adolescent ninja Naruto Uzumaki, who dreams of becoming the village ninja, the community’s protector and leader.
Being a Naruto fan, I should be excited as finally, the awesome Naruto universe would be brought to life on the big screen with real actors and sets and costumes and visual effects, but then the abomination that is Dragon Ball Evolution, which was the last American effort of adapting a classic anime series into a live-action film, kills the excitement and replaces it with gut-wrenching dread and literally makes me cringe.
At this point, I’m tempted to start an online petition to either stop the project so that the Naruto universe would not be ruined by Hollywood or better yet, to give the project to the studio that gave us Rurouni Kenshin which basically drove home the point that anime or manga live action adaptations is best left to Japanese hands.
I feel crossing fingers and hoping for the best would be of little help. Starting today, this has just been added to the list of things that would keep me awake at night.