The community behind anime and Japanese culture has been raving about the hit film Your Name for months now. It had record earnings all across Japan and did better than most other animated films across the world. This time-stream spanning tale of love and friendship garnered a ton of attention and has raised the stakes for any future anime film looking to make its mark on the worldwide market. I suppose it was only a matter of time before Your Name would get co-opted and adapted in a live-action production and now that process has begun.
Producer J.J. Abrams has announced that he will be working on the live-action adaptation of the story alongside Arrival‘s Eric Heisserer. Some good news is that they have included an original producer, Genki Kawamura, from Your Name to help in the process of translating this story. Obviously Abrams is keeping himself pretty busy, having recently signed on to direct another Star Wars film in the future among all the other irons he has in the fire. It’s safe to assume this adaptation will take some time to ever see the light of day.
Now, I know that the track record for adapting anime in general is not even good, it has just been plain bad. However, I think there is cause for some optimism in this case because the story of Your Name won’t tackle many of the inherent difficulties in adapting other past anime films or series. I can only assume that this will be an American-based adaptation of the basic story elements and so there shouldn’t really be any questions of white-washing a role. Unless they base the whole thing in Japan and cast Jennifer Lawrence or something. I mean no matter what they do there will always be people who are against this idea, but I think this is a good risk to take.
Another hurdle dodged in this case is the fact that Your Name is not Ghost in the Shell or even Akira. The film has certainly been popular, but it does not have years of cult status worship making it too sacred to alter or adapt. Ultimately, I think this is a good sign of things to come. This adaptation will draw even more attention to the original and hopefully secure a chance for the next big anime film to reach even more audiences.