Because ‘Hollywood does not understand anime,’ RE:Anime releases full live-action ‘Naruto’ film on YouTube

Naruto Film

RE:Anime, the production team behind a series of live-action Naruto videos on YouTube, has released a full 50-minute film called “Naruto, The Movie: Climbing Silver,” which features a mostly Asian American cast.

Epic live-action battles: The film, which was uploaded to the team’s YouTube channel on Friday, compiled all of the recent videos from their series and added new footage to complete the Hidan arc of the “Naruto: Shippuden” series, reported Geek Tyrant

  • The film showcases the action-packed fight scenes between Hidan and Shikamaru that RE:Anime previously released in multiple parts. 
  • Other film highlights include witnessing Kakashi’s Raikiri move in live-action and the appearance of Naruto himself.
  • “Naruto, The Movie: Climbing Silver” was directed by RE:Anime founder Nik Shaw, who funded the project through a crowdfunding campaign. 
  • It features Jonathan Tanigaki as Shikamaru, JB Tadena as Asuma, Hunter Smith as Hidan and Yoshi Sudarso as Kakashi, among others.
  • In an interview with NextShark, Shaw highlighted the hard work his team put in while developing their passion project.
  • He gave a shout-out to their “amazing stunt team that put in hours upon hours of work.” He added, “Jay Kwon and Jerry Quil came up with the choreography for the fight. I would say we practiced for over a week and it took many days and hundreds of takes to get the action just right.” 
  • Shaw also expressed appreciation for having Smith and Tadena, actors who are martial artists and trained stunt professionals, on the RE:Anime team.

A stand against Hollywood anime: The RE:Anime team, which is composed of creators who are self-confessed anime fans, wanted to make a statement with their film that creating good live-action anime adaptations is possible, NextShark previously reported. 

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  • Lamenting that “Hollywood does not understand anime,” Shaw expressed fear in his  Indiegogo campaign that the upcoming “Naruto” adaptation by Lionsgate will repeat the past mistakes of live-action misfires such as “Death Note,” “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” “Ghost in the Shell,” and “Dragonball Evolution.”
  • “They do not take it seriously and I’m extremely worried that another one of my childhood favorite shows, another one of my inspirations, is going to be ruined,” he said. 
  • Since its premiere on YouTube, which was less than a week ago, “Naruto, The Movie: Climbing Silver” has been viewed over a quarter of a million times, earning mostly positive responses from commenters. 
  • “Start to finish, this is the best live-action adaptation I have ever seen,” one YouTube viewer wrote. “Only people with as much love for the show that you all have could make something this amazing.”
  • “This might be the best work I’ve seen ever in live-action Naruto-related,” another chimed in. “I pray for your success in all your future endeavors Inshallah. Looking forward to seeing more great work from you guys.”
  • Shaw was extremely overjoyed by the positive response from viewers, noting that he was glad that his vision matched the expectations of the fans. “When you take on a title as big as ‘Naruto,’ it is a little nerve-wracking because every single fan of the series has their own idea of what it should look like in live-action,” he said. 

A petition from fans: Fans of RE:Anime’s works have created a petition on Change.org pushing for Lionsgate to consider giving Nik Shaw and his team the reins to produce the live-action adaptation of “Naruto.”

  • According to the petition, putting people who are more knowledgeable and passionate about anime in key creative positions will “make sure this film is different from other Hollywood live-action adaptations.”
  • Shaw said he was touched by the support, which validates his team’s effort in adapting anime that stays faithful to the core themes of the source material. 
  • “To have my vision for a live-action ‘Naruto’ be so well received that ‘Naruto’ and RE:Anime fans rallied together to make a petition on our behalf…it truly brings tears to my eyes,” he said.
  • If given the chance to work with Lionsgate on the “Naruto” live-action, Shaw said he would keep the general tone of their YouTube productions but add a lot of new elements. 
  • “The biggest difference would be bringing the ‘Naruto’ locations to life, such as the Leaf Village, the Forbidden Forest, etc.,” he said. “I truly believe with my passion and love for ‘Naruto’ that I can bring to life a ‘Naruto’ world that truly resonates with the fans and audience.”

News of a Lionsgate Naruto project first emerged in 2015, with Aussie filmmaker Michael Gracey reportedly in talks to direct. Fan reception to it has been lukewarm, and whatever buzz the film had when the story broke eventually fizzled out and no other update has been released about it since. 

Featured Image via RE:ANIME

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