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Surprise: Lionsgate is reportedly working on a Naruto movie

Is it finally time for our boy to... shonen jump into theaters?

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4: Road to Boruto Image: Namco Bandai
Joshua Rivera (he/him) is an entertainment and culture journalist specializing in film, TV, and video game criticism, the latest stop in a decade-plus career as a critic.

Secrecy is not everyone’s jutsu: Lionsgate has reportedly been developing a Naruto movie, and one of the buzziest screenwriters in the biz is working on it.

In a Variety roundup of notable screenwriters in 2023, writer Tasha Huo — whose credits include showrunning Netflix’s animated series Tomb Raider: The Legend of Lara Croft and serving as executive producer on Amazon’s Mighty Nein adaptation — was reported to have Lionsgate’s Naruto adaptation next up on her docket.

Lionsgate has quietly been attempting to get a Naruto movie off the ground since at least 2015, when it was reported that the studio was in negotiations for film rights to the acclaimed manga with The Greatest Showman director Michael Gracey attached to direct. Given that eight years have passed, there’s no telling if Gracey is still involved — or if the film will be live-action, although that would make the most sense and would be well-timed, given the popularity of Netflix’s One Piece adaptation. (Polygon has reached out to Lionsgate for comment.)

Created by Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto tells an epic story spanning the life of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja in training who aspires to become the leader of his clan. Famous for being one of the “Big Three” series leading Shonen Jump magazine’s mid-2000s boom in popularity (alongside One Piece and Bleach), the manga and its anime adaptation are among the most famous action-adventure stories in the world (and a favorite of NFL running back Jamaal Williams).

There’s no word on when to expect Lionsgate’s take on Naruto, but Tasha Huo’s next film will likely be the also long-in-development comic adaptation Red Sonja.

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