On Friday, Lionsgate chairman Adam Fogelson announced that the company is producing the most highly anticipated anime adaption since One Piece. The company is bringing a live-action movie of the popular anime and manga of the early 2000s: Naruto. Attached to the project already, is Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton who is slated to write, direct, and serve as co-producer.

The adaption will be produced by Jeyun Munford’s production company Hisako. Attached, are also a slew of big Hollywood producers in the industry, including Jeremy Latchum (Dungeons and Dragons), Avi Arad, Ari Arad, and Emmy Yu of Arad Productions (Borderlands).

“This manga classic is beloved by millions of fans all around the world, and Destin has delivered a vision for the movie that we believe will excite that massive fan base as well as those who are new to it,” said Fogelson regarding the adaption. “Avi and I have had the pleasure of working together before and I know that as we collaborate with Destin and the team on ‘Naruto,’ we are in extraordinary hands.”

Naruto was an extremely popular manga series created by Masashi Kishimoto. Its style and popularity and been akin to other megahits such as Dragon Ball Z. The manga has sold over 250 million copies in over 60 countries. Its story follows the lonesome Shinobi Naruto Uzumaki, a child with a magical 9-tails inside of him who despite being ostracized by his community, dreams of becoming his people’s greatest warrior and leader, known as the village Hokage.

“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,” said Kishimoto regarding Destin Daniel Cretton’s involvement. “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 Naruto.”

“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,” he continued. “To put it simply, the live-action ‘Naruto’ is bound to be a film with spectacular action and profound drama. I can’t help but be excited for it.”

Destin Daniel Cretton is easily becoming one of the hottest directors in Hollywood. The director was originally slated to be directing Avengers: The Kang Dynasty before stepping back to focus on other creative projects. More recently, Cretton had served as executive producer for American Born Chinese, the Disney+ adaption of the graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang. Even though Cretton is slated to adapt this major project for Lionsgate, he also remains committed to directing the sequel to “Shang-Chi”. 

Now that manga has taken leaps onto the forefront of pop cultural relevancy adaptions of it into live-action movies have become more prevalent than ever. In the past few years, audiences have seen Bleach, Death Note, and One Piece become live-action movie adaptions. This is why it’s not all too surprising that a live-action adaption of Naruto is now underway. Though are audiences happy with the quality put out has been debatable.