‘Naruto’ Live-Action Movie Coming from Writer/Director Destin Daniel Cretton

The “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” filmmaker also has a number of Marvel projects in the hopper

"Naruto" (Pierrot)
"Naruto" (Pierrot)

Destin Daniel Cretton is going to bring best-selling manga series “Naruto” to the big screen, in a live-action feature for Lionsgate. The “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” filmmaker is writing and directing the project.

“Naruto,” written by Masashi Kishimoto and published by Shueisha, had an original run from 1999 to 2014, collected in 72 volumes. The series printed more than 250 million copies, making it (according to one study) one of the most popular properties in the world.

The series follows a young ninja who longs to become the protector of his village. The original manga has inspired long-running animated series, several animated features and a robust product line of almost every conceivable piece of merchandise.

“It was a true honor to meet Kishimoto-san in Tokyo and hear his expansive vision for his creation,” Cretton said in an official statement. “We are very excited to collaborate and bring ‘Naruto’ to the big screen.”

“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,’” Kishimoto added. “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 concluded, “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.”

Avi Arad, Ari Arad and Emmy Yu produce for Arad Productions with Jeremy Latcham. Cretton is producing alongside Jeyun Munford through his company, Hisako.

Since working on “Shang-Chi,” Cretton has been very involved with Marvel Studios, co-creating a “Wonder Man” streaming series (with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as the title character) and was, for a while, going to direct the next “Avengers” film, “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.” While Cretton stepped down from that project, he is still working with the studio on both “Wonder Man” and a “Shang-Chi” sequel. He also executive produced the Disney+ series “American Born Chinese” and directed two episodes.

It is unclear when Cretton will attack “Naruto.”


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