Marc Webb is getting the opportunity to adapt source material that falls into his known skill set of both fantastical themes and quirky romances. The director, who notably headed Sony Pictures’ previous cinematic iteration of the Wall-Crawler in The Amazing Spider-Man films, along with hit rom-com (500) Days of Summer, will tackle a live-action remake of acclaimed fantasy-themed romantic anime, Your Name.
Webb is set to direct an adaptation that reimagines director Makoto Shinkai’s 2016 anime, Your Name, reports Deadline. Webb will work off a script by celebrated scribe Eric Heisserer, who’s riding high off the recent success of Netflix film Bird Box (a script he adapted from Josh Malerman’s novel), and Oscar-nominated acclaim from 2016’s Arrival. The remake will be a production of Paramount and J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot, which collectively acquired the rights from Japan’s Toho, which will partner for the remake, handling distribution in Japan. Abrams is onboard as a producer, joined by original movie producer Genki Kawamura, and executive producers Lindsey Weber and scribe Heisserer.
As Kawamura expresses in a statement:
“Marc was our first choice to direct this refashioned interpretation of the film from the moment we explored creating an American version. As we saw in (500) Days Of Summer, Marc has a tremendous talent for telling great love stories and in the same way moviegoers were captivated by the original film, we are certain Marc will engage fans of the original and an entirely new audience for these characters’ beautiful journey. With J.J. Abrams producing, Eric Heisserer writing and Marc directing, this project officially has the team we dreamed about.”
The original Your Name anime is a fantastical yarn about a supernatural experience between a young girl named Mitsusha, and a young boy named Taki, who start to swap bodies intermittently, eventually yielding an unconventional romance. The story is laced with elements of Japanese mysticism and even involves the prevention of an apocalyptic event. It experienced tremendous success in Japan, having grossed over 23 billion yen (about $190 million U.S.), and carries the distinction of being the first $100+ million-earning anime that is not directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
By contrast, Webb and Heisserer’s remake will put an Americanized twist on the premise, transplanting the events into the Chicago area, centered on a young, rural-living Native American woman, and a young man from the city, who, likewise, both start to experience intermittent body-swapping. However, it becomes evident that the experience is rooted in a higher purpose, seemingly designed to prevent an impending life-threatening disaster for which they must embark on a journey to prevent.
Your Name sounds like a project that’s right up Webb’s alley. After Sony unceremoniously deep-sixed his Andrew Garfield-headlined Amazing Spider-Man franchise iteration for joint-studio, Marvel Cinematic Universe-acknowledged version starring Tom Holland (who’s set to unveil his second solo run in Spider-Man: Far from Home), Webb directed the 2017 Chris Evans single-father drama, Gifted, though has mostly stuck to television work. As for writer Heisserer, the 2020 Vin Diesel-headlined Valiant Comics adaptation, Bloodshot, is next on his docket.
We’ll keep you updated on Marc Webb’s Your Name as things develop!