Your Name Anime to Get Live-Action Adaptation

J.J. Abrams will produce, with Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer on board to pen the screenplay.

Your Name, one of the most popular anime films of all time, is getting a live-action adaptation from J.J. Abrams. According to The Tracking Board, Abrams has come on to produce the film, with Arrival co-writer Eric Heisserer, on board to pen the adaptation.

Heisserer’s involvement is particularly exciting, as he not only has experience beautifully adapting a story from another medium (as was the case with Arrival, which began as a short story), but also has experience working with complex science fiction stories. Like Arrival, Your Name does some very cool things with time.

If you’ve yet to see the anime written and directed by Makoto Shinkai, you’re in for a treat! (Because you should definitely watch the anime before seeing the live action version.) It is the story of two teenagers who are connected through their body-swapping dreams. Mitsuha is a girl who lives in a small town in the mountains of Japan, while Taki is a boy who lives and goes to school in the big city of Tokyo.

The two lead very different lives, but come to know and love one another over the course of their body-swapping. It’s a beautiful, sad, thrilling movie that is defined by the mesmerizing animation. It’s hard to imagine this movie existing as a live action. While the story and characters are compelling, so much of this film is wrapped up in its gorgeous, dream-like visuals — a kind of visual language that is specific to the anime art form.

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“Your Name is a film created with the innate imaginations of a Japanese team and put together in a domestic medium,” said Shinkai. “When such a work is imbued with Hollywood filmmaking, we may see new possibilities that we had been completely unaware of.” 

Bad Robot and Paramount will be working alongside Japanese company Toho Co., who produced the original film.

“Just like in the film, it feels like a dream,” said Your Name producer Genki Kawamura. “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.”

More news as we hear it.