It was the highest-grossing film ever to come out of Japan, earning $355.2M worldwide when it was released last year. It held the top spot for 12 non-consecutive weeks in the country and also became the highest-grossing Japanese film ever to release in China with $85.6M. Now Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot have joined with Japan-based Toho Co. to bring Your Name to worldwide audiences as a live-action feature with Oscar-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer (Arrival) on board to script.
Your Name, which was a lower-budgeted anime phenom from filmmaker Makoto Shinkai, tells the story of a teenage boy and girl from different backgrounds who discover they can swap bodies. They become desperate to cross space and time to find a way to meet and stop an impending disaster. The film was a hit among teens who saw it multiple times and was as well received in Japan as Disney’s Frozen which sat at the top of the box office chart for 16 weeks in row.
Shinkai, who created the original story, wrote and directed Your Name, says he is looking forward to a live-action version coming out of Hollywood. He said his film was “created with the innate imaginations of a Japanese team and put together in a domestic medium. When such a work is imbued with Hollywood filmmaking, we may see new possibilities that we had been completely unaware of – I am looking forward to the live-action film with excited anticipation.”
For the live-action adaptation, J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Episode IX) and Lindsey Weber will produce for Bad Robot, along with Genki Kawamura, producer of the original film. Toho will handle distribution of the film in Japan.
“Just like in the film it feels like a dream” says the film’s original producer Kawamura. “Mr. Abrams and his team have captivated audiences in their masterful reinvention of known properties. And Mitsuha and Taki have found a perfect narrator, Mr. Heisserer, to tell their sci-fi infused love story, which gave the film such drive. The meetings so far have been creatively stimulating with fantastic ideas that no doubt will make for a great movie. I am greatly honored to work with these incredible creators in bringing to audiences the Hollywood live action version of Your Name.”
The original film was produced by Genki Kawamura with Minami Ichikawa, Keiji Ota, and Yoshihiro Furusawa for Toho Co., Ltd. and Noritaka Kawaguchi for CoMix Wave Films serving as executive producers.