International blockbuster animated film “Your Name” has recently been licensed by Paramount Pictures and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions for a live-action Hollywood remake. They will be collaborating with the original production company for “Your Name,” Toho Co., Ltd., which included executive producers of the original film Minami Ichikawa, Keiji Ota, and Yoshihiro Furusawa. Original producer Genki Kawamura will be on the production team, along with producers J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber from Bad Robot. Academy Award nominated Eric Heisserer will be writing the screenplay. Overseas, Toho Co., Ltd. will handle distribution of the remake in Japan.
Kawamura comments that “Just like in the film it feels like a dream…Mr. Abrams and his team have captivated audiences in their masterful reinvention of known properties. And Mitsuha and Taki have found a perfect narrator, Mr. Heisserer, to tell their sci-fi infused love story, which gave the film such drive. The meetings so far have been creatively stimulating with fantastic ideas that no doubt will make for a great movie. I am greatly honored to work with these incredible creators in bringing to audiences the Hollywood live-action version of ‘Your Name.’”
As for what creator, writer, and director Makoto Shinkai thinks about this new venture, he says “’Your Name’ is a film created with the innate imaginations of a Japanese team and put together in a domestic medium. When such a work is imbued with Hollywood filmmaking, we may see new possibilities that we had been completely unaware of. I am looking forward to the live-action film with excited anticipation.”
Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name first premiered in Los Angeles at Anime Expo 2016, with the Japan premiere closely following in August 2016. Since then, it has received widespread recognition of its beautiful animation and emotional impact, becoming the 4th highest grossing film of all time in Japan and 4th highest grossing non-English film worldwide. It is currently the highest grossing anime film worldwide. The film also won Best Animated Feature Film at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, 49th Sitges Film Festival, and the 71st Mainichi Film Awards.
Since the announcement, fans worldwide have had mixed feelings about this news. From reactions to previous Hollywood live-action remakes of Japanese-animated films, such as Ghost in the Shell (2017), Death Note (2017), and Dragonball: Evolution (2009), it is understandable that many fans have concerns about a film that is already renowned worldwide. Whether it be debates regarding casting or script deviations to adapt to an American culture/setting, with the original production team collaborating on this live-action remake and the pressure from audiences and critics alike, the final product will make for an interesting watch.