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If you're conflicted about a live action remake of Your Name, you're not alone

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Marc Webb to direct the remake, produced by Bad Robot

On the one hand, I’m really pleased to hear that Your Name is getting the praise it deserves in the form of imitation — surely that’s the sincerest form of flattery. On its release in 2016, it was the highest-grossing anime film ever to have been produced, outdoing even Spirited Aways record at the international box office. And it’s easy to see why: an animation with so much depth and which so creatively bridged the gaps between two characters, subverting the tropes of a body-swap comes to become a much more meaningful, even poetic film about the passage of time and the role of fate, is a rare thing indeed.

But I can’t be the only one nervous about the reception of a live-action remake. I know it’s in the capable hands of Marc Webb, the visionary behind (500) Days of Summer and 2017’s Gifted, which are in my opinion two of the most humorous and sensitively directed gems of the big screen. There’s little he seems to be able to do wrong (glossing over the Andrew Garfield Spiderman hiccup) and if I had to choose a director to pioneer the project, it would be him. Not only that, but Bad Robot will be helming the production side, and J. J. Abrams’ company has a track record of producing epic cinematic events, everything from Star Trek to Star Wars, the Cloverfield continuum to Westworld and Mission: Impossible — Fallout. It seems as if, with filming wrapped for Star Wars IX this week, Abrams is getting restless and is on to the next endeavor.

Despite Abrams’ impressive resume on the CGI front, I feel that the success of Your Name can never be replicated, and there has been plenty of discussion about just how the sequences where Mitsuha and Taki cross paths high above the mountains of Itomori will be realized. It’s a very cinematic trope that I’m a little unsure as to how this will translate into the modern day — let alone in Chicago, of all places. I can see what they’ve tried to do by linking a Chicago suburbanite with a Native American character, but somehow it’s not the same. It’s one thing to refashion a film from anime (arguably an entirely different genre), but it’s another thing completely to Americanise it. Won’t it lose the sense of deep nostalgia that director Makoto Shinkai fostered through his original? It must also be mentioned that the film was produced in homage to the victims of the devastating 2011 Japanese earthquakes, and it’s inevitable that some of this will be lost on Western audiences if the film loses its original integrity.

 The project seems to have gained some traction already and will be released by Paramount Studios. Genki Kawamura, producer of the original film, will act as co-producer alongside Abrams and Eric Heisserer (Arrival) is reported to be working on the reimagined screenplay. An estimated release date has yet to be announced, indicating that this could be some way off, but it’s certainly going to receive a mixed reception from critics, if not from commercial takings when it lands.

Marc Webb to Direct ‘Your Name’ Remake for Paramount, Bad Robot [Collider]

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Sian Francis Cox
Sian Francis Cox   gamer profile

Based in the UK, Sian is a freelance film writer for Flixist, Destructoid and Film-Enthusiast.com. more + disclosures


 


 


Also on Flixist: Your Name   (1)   From our database:

  • Review: Your Name - Hubert Vigilla
  • Watch the US trailers for Makoto Shinkai's anime mega-hit Your Name - Hubert Vigilla
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    Filed under... #Action #Anime #J.J. Abrams #New Releases #news

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