The live-action re-imagining of the Japanese anime Your Name found its new director in Lee Isaac Chung. He will be replacing Spider-Man director Marc Webb, as well as rewriting the screenplay from Bird Box scribe Eric Heisserer.
Your Name was a big success when it debuted on the big screen in 2016. It became the highest-grossing anime movie in history. Director, writer and producer J.J. Abrams was apparently impressed by its success that he wasted no time securing the rights to the adaptation from Toho.
In February 2019, Webb boarded the project as the director, but Paramount and Abrams’ Bad Robot production recently announced the changes in a press release. The report also cited that Chung will expound the story based on the draft from Emily V. Gordon.
Chung, the son of a Korean immigrant, is known for his Cannes film Munyurangabo. His other movie, Minari, landed the Grand Jury award at the Sundance Film Festival early this year.
A Western version
Toho reportedly agreed to the Your Name live-action adaptation as it wanted a “Western point-of-view” of the anime, according to Heisserer. So, the writer created a story based on the anime’s backbone. His idea centered the U.S. screenplay on a Native American woman in a rural town and a boy from Chicago.
Makoto Shinkai, the original writer, and director said that his Japanese team created the anime version for the domestic audience. He is excited about the Hollywood live-action film because it will bring “new possibilities” to the film.
Plot and other details
The original movie is about a small-town high school girl (Mitsuha Miyamizu) who could mysteriously swap bodies with a teenage city boy (Taki Tachibana). As their lives interconnect, they discover that they must work together to prevent a disaster.
The boy and the girl never meet in person other until the end of the film, or they’ve successfully saved the world from a comet strike. Apart from its sci-fi elements, Your Name is also a type of romantic supernatural story.
But the American production had several revisions and changes since the first announcement of the project. Details to Webb or Heisserer’s departure haven’t been revealed, and it’s also unclear if Chung will retain the Native American aspect of Heisserer’s script.
Since the script will undergo a redo, it might be a while before the project finds its stars and cast. Paramount and Bad Robot also don’t have a scheduled filming date for Your Name for now as it’s still in the pre-production stages.
Image courtesy of All the Anime/YouTube