J.J. Abrams wants to adapt the Japanese animated film Your Name for American audiences. On Wednesday, his production company, Bad Robot, in conjunction with Paramount Pictures, won the rights necessary to accomplish this.
It has been announced that the companies will work with Toho Co., Ltd, the Japan-based production company responsible for the the original film. Toho will handle the distribution of the film in their home country.
The twist, however, is that Abrams wants to make the adaptation into a live-action take on the story, rather than simply remake a Japanese film with American adaptation.
Eric Heisserer, who was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay for the 2016 film Arrival, will write the screenplay. Your Name will be produced by Abrams, as well as Lindsey Weber from Bad Robot, and Genki Kawamura, who produced the original film.
Your Name was originally the work of Makoto Shinkai, who wrote and directed it. The story, which is widely considered Shinkai’s magnum opus, tells the story of a teenage boy and girl from radically different social circumstances who begin to switch bodies with each other every other day. While their relationship is tenuous at first, it evolves until they become desperate to meet each other. Along the way, the threat of an impending disaster makes this journey vastly more complicated.
Yoshishige Shimatani, CEO of Toho Co, declared that “we are excited to collaborate with an extremely talented team in Hollywood. And to create with them a live-action version of the iconic Japanese film Your Name.”
Abrams himself is hot off a few successful projects, including production of 10 Cloverfield Lane, and, of course, directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He has also recently assumed direction of the ninth Star Wars film, given director Collin Trevorrow’s departure from the project.
What do you think of this news? Does Your Name need a live-action adaptation, or is this a waste of time? If not, is J.J. Abrams the right guy to adapt the film?