Makoto Shinkai’s 2016 anime film Your Name is a beautiful and brilliant magical-realism romance, and until the unbelievable run of the Demon Slayer movie in 2020, it was second only to Hayao Miyazaki’s groundbreaking Spirited Away on the list of the most successful Japanese movies of all time. So, naturally, Hollywood has decided that it makes sense to remake it with live-action actors. That always works well, right? Maybe 25 percent of the time? Oh boy.
J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot has been developing the remake for years, going through various different iterations with various different directors, but now things seem to be moving forward again with Raya And The Last Dragon co-director Carlos López Estrada on board to direct and rewrite the adaptation. That comes from Variety, which says López Estrada is also developing a live-action remake of Disney’s Robin Hood (a live-action remake of a cartoon where everyone is an anthropomorphized animal! What could go wrong?!), so he’s clearly in-demand for this kind of thing.
The original Your Name is about two teenagers in Japan who inexplicably begin swapping bodies, with a boy named Taki learning about life in the rural hometown of Mitsuha, a girl he’s never met, while she enjoys the excitement of living Taki’s comparatively exciting life in Tokyo. To say… anything else would spoil some of the surprising turns that the movie takes, so maybe don’t even read what Variety has to say about it. Just track the movie down and watch it.
If this ends up being a hit, though, it will be interesting to see if Makoto Shinkai’s other films are deemed worthy of American live-action remakes. His follow-up, Weathering With You, might be devastatingly bleak in live-action (though it is also a beautiful and brilliant magical-realism romance), and his next film—Suzume No Tojimari (it doesn’t have an English title yet)—seems to at least partially be about a girl falling in love with a boy who turns into a chair. Good luck doing that in live-action, J.J. Abrams!