A live action Naruto movie is in development at Lionsgate with reports indicating that writer Tasha Huo has completed the next draft script.

‘Manga to live action’ fever has gripped the entertainment industry, but Netflix’s One Piece isn’t the only series that fans should be excited about – a live action adaptation of Naruto is in the works, with reports citing that the next draft script has been completed at Lionsgate.

Naruto grimaces as flames start to envelope him
Naruto/Pierrot/Vizmedia YouTube channel

Naruto live action movie confirms scriptwriter Tasha Huo

The announcement concerning a live action movie adaptation of Naruto was revealed all the way back in 2015 with Avi Arad, the founder of Marvel Studios, coming on board for Lionsgate.

In 2016, it was confirmed that manga author Masashi Kishimoto was also joining the team to develop the live action movie alongside director Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman).

Gracey celebrated the partnership in an interview with Collider a few years later, stating that Kishimoto was a “genius” and that they needed to find the right balance between authenticity and Hollywood creativity, in order to do Naruto justice:

“So many Hollywood adaptations of really popular manga series just don’t get it right, and for me what was really important was that if I was gonna do Naruto, I wanted to actually work with Kishimoto and get a script to a stage where he would look at it and be excited about realizing it. Because no one knows the world better than the person who created it.”

This brings us to 2023, with inside reports claiming that the first draft of the script had finally been completed by veteran writer Tasha Huo. As one fan account shared: “Big News Alert! A Naruto Live Action Movie is in development by Lionsgate. Tasha Huo, who wrote The Witcher on Netflix, has completed a new script draft! Who’s excited?”

This report is being celebrated by fans as in the aforementioned interview with Collider, Gracey reaffirmed that the script would only be developed under the tutelage of Kishimoto himself, and only if he gave the thumbs-up:

“Because until that script is at a level that I’m excited about, I have no interest in destroying an amazing franchise, as has happened before…At this stage, no one is going to go into production until we’ve got a script that excites everyone. So whether it’s my next one or not, I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Huo previously worked as a writer on the documentary Women in the Dirt (2011) and is best-known for writing episodes of The Witcher’s prequel series Blood Origin (2022).

Whilst The Witcher: Blood Origin was widely criticized for its quality and consistency, Huo was described as a “demon writer” by creator Declan de Barra before the show was cut from six episodes to just four.

Thankfully, fans will get the chance to see more of Huo’s work on both the big and small screen before physical production on the Naruto movie takes shape.

Not only is Huo is currently working on the Naruto live action movie, but also the upcoming Tomb Raider TV series, the theatrical reboot of Red Sonja, and Mighty Nein (the second campaign of Critical Role’s iconic series).

Naruto delays four new anime episodes indefinitely

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news for the global Naruto community as the four new anime episodes from the original TV series have sadly been delayed indefinitely.

The four new episodes were originally scheduled to start their domestic broadcast in Japan on September 3 and were produced in celebration of the series’ 20th-year anniversary.

However, the production team at Studio Pierrot have decided that the best course of action is to postpone this broadcast “in order to improve the quality of this work”, as shared in an official statement shared to the project’s social media channels.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. We have decided to postpone the broadcast of “NARUTO: The Complete New Animation Commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Naruto”…in order to further improve the quality of this 20th anniversary work, which is the first work produced in approximately six years and five months. We sincerely apologize to the fans who have been looking forward to the broadcast.”

The statement noted that a new broadcast schedule will be shared “as soon as it is determined” and that the animators will “do our utmost to meet your expectations, and we would appreciate your understanding in this matter.”

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