J.J. Abrams is about to become a very busy man, splitting his time between working with Lucasfilm on Star Wars: Episode IX and prepping an adaptation of last year’s biggest Japanese anime, Your Name.
Paramount Pictures and Toho Co. Ltd announced last night that Abrams will team up with Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer for the project. In a press release, Toho CEO Yoshishige Shimatani said the team at Toho was excited to partner with Abrams for the movie. Your Name, which was released in Japan on Aug. 26, 2016 and in North America on Apr. 7, follows two Japanese teenagers as their lives inexplicably become intertwined.
Producer Genki Kawamura, who oversaw work on the original Your Name, will be helping Abrams and Heisserer with the live-action adaptation. Kawamura said in the press release that being able to partner with Abrams and Heisserer feels “like a dream.”
“The meetings so far have been creatively stimulating with fantastic ideas that no doubt will make for a great movie,” Kawamura said. “I am greatly honored to work with these incredible creators.”
It’s unclear if Your Name director and writer Makoto Shinkai will have any input in the live-action adaptation. While the release states that Toho and Paramount will work closely together, Shinkai’s involvement wasn’t noted beyond his “excited anticipation” to see what Abrams and company create.
The other lingering question is when production on the film will start. The Hollywood Reporter previously reported that Abrams got approval from Paramount to take time to work on Star Wars: Episode IX, calling it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the director. Prior to Abrams’ agreeing to take on the final Star Wars movie in the new trilogy, the director had signed a contract with Paramount to partner with the studio through 2018.
With Abrams focused on Star Wars: Episode IX (not to mention the various films and TV series he’s producing, including HBO’s Westworld) it seems like there might be some time before work on the Your Name adaptation begins.