Korean American filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung is set to write and direct a live-action adaptation of the hit Japanese anime film “Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa),” Deadline reports.
Taking over: Chung, the acclaimed director of 2007’s “Munyurangabo” and this year’s “Minari,” is replacing Marc Webb, who was previously tasked to helm the project.
- Chung, a son of Korean immigrants, comes from a rural Arkansas town and attended Yale University before dropping plans for medical school to pursue filmmaking.
- His debut film “Munyurangabo” premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and won the Grand Prize at the 2007 AFI Fest.
- In his review of “Munyurangabo,” renowned critic Roger Ebert said the film is “in every frame a beautiful and powerful film — a masterpiece.”
- Meanwhile, Minari premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, winning both the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize as well as the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award.
Reimagination: The new film will be a live-action re-imagining of the romantic fantasy anime about a high school boy from Tokyo and a high school girl from a rural town who become magically linked and swap bodies.
- The reimagined version takes several elements from the original film, including the two teenagers swapping bodies and a looming disaster that would bring them together.
- “Your Name” was a massive hit when it was released in Japan in 2016 and the rest of the world the following year, grossing over $350 million worldwide.
- Filmmaker J.J. Abrams (Bad Robot) is said to be a big fan of the original film and immediately worked towards acquiring the rights for it.
- The script for the remake, which replaces the Japanese main characters with a “young Native American woman living in a rural area and a young man from Chicago,” was originally written by “Arrival” screenwriter Eric Heisserer.
- Chung will rewrite the version of the script drafted by Emily V. Gordon.
- Abrams will co-produce the film with Genki Kawamura, who produced the original.
- Toho will distribute the upcoming film in Japan, while Paramount will be responsible for other territories.