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Marvel director signs up to direct movie adaptation of Manga classic Naruto

A manga series made up of over 10,000 pages of story is to get a movie adaptation...

Marvel director signs up to direct movie adaptation of Manga classic Naruto
Andrew Williams
26 February 2024

The hugely popular manga Naruto is to get a live action movie adaptation, and a big name in Marvel movies has just signed on to direct.

Destin Daniel Cretton will write and direct the Naruto movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Cretton directed the decent Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and was also signed up to direct Avengers: The King Dynasty until he left the project in November 2023.

Lionsgate announced its intention to make a live action Naruto film a lifetime ago, in 2015. Back then Michael Gracey was intended to direct, and that was before his first big-time movie directing job, The Greatest Showman, had come out.

We heard just occasional mumblings of the project over the years since, until late 2023, when we heard The Witcher: Blood Origin writer Tasha Huo was working on the project.

It sounds like we may be finally on track this time, though, with Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto having given his blessing to Destin Daniel Cretton.

“When I heard of Destin’s attachment, it happened to be right after watching a blockbuster action film of his, and I thought he would be the perfect director for Naruto,” says Kishimoto in a statement published by The Hollywood Reporter.

It seems safe to assume Kishimoto means Shang Chi, as that’s the only blockbuster movie Cretton has made to date, with his previous movies being the more low key Just Mercy and The Glass Castle.

“After enjoying his other films and understanding that his forte is in creating solid dramas about people, I became convinced that there is no other director for Naturo. In actually meeting Destin, I also found him to be an open-minded director who was willing to embrace my input, and felt strongly that we would be able to cooperate together in the production process,” says Kishimoto.

Naruto started its 15-year original run in manga publication Weekly Shōnen Jump in 1999. The run is now made up of 72 volumes, each of which takes up around 200 pages.

The manga also became a TV show, which began in 2002. Take both the original TV show and its follow up Naruto Shippuden, and you have 720 episodes to work through.

Naruto provides a lot of source material. Never tried it? Naruto is the story of a boy who has a fox demon spirit sealed inside him. But it’s also about early teenage life, as this causes him to be ostracised by those in his village.

The epic runs of both Naruto and Naruto: Shippunden, which recounts his older teenage years, are available on Amazon’s Crunchyroll.