Destin Daniel Cretton to Write and Direct ‘Naruto’ for Lionsgate

Destin Daniel Cretton to Write and Direct ‘Naruto’ for Lionsgate

Destin Daniel Cretton will be writing and directing a live-action film for Lionsgate based on Naruto, the popular manga character.

Cretton recently cowrote and directed Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings for Marvel Studios. He will be producing the Naruto project through his Hisako company, along with Jeyun Mumford. Also involved with the project are Avi Arad, Ari Arad, and Emma Yu of Arad Productions.

Naruto was the creation of Masashi Kishimoto. It narrated the coming-of-age saga of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja. The story ran from 1999 to 2014 in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump. During that fifteen-year period, it became a best-seller, with more than 250 million copies sold around the world. It also spawned a number of animated series that ran on the Cartoon Network, and Disney SD, among others.

Kishimoto was quoted in an exclusive article The Hollywood Reporter as saying that he felt Cretton would be the “perfect director” for the Naruto project. The Japanese author 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.”

Adam Fogelson, the chair of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, is equally pleased about Cretton’s involvement. He was quoted as saying, “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. 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.”

The Naruto film is not the first project Cretton will have made for Lionsgate. In 2017, he directed The Glass Castle starring Brie Larson.

Cretton is also working on a sequel for Shang-Chi, and has directed a few episodes of American Born Chinese for Disney+. The 45-year-old director was born in Haiku on the island of Maui in Hawaii. He is himself half-Japanese. Several of his early short films were screened at Sundance.

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