Warners to Adapt “Ninja Scroll”

Yoshiaki Kawajiri has been one of the Japanese anime industry’s greatest influences for nearly 30 years, and his seminal period piece Ninja Scroll (Jubei ninpuchou) is another one of his masterful works adored by fans worldwide. So, it’s only natural Hollywood wants to cash in on a live-action adaptation.

According to this past Sunday’s article at Variety, Warner Brothers in association with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production house will produce an adaptation by the currently red-hot scribe Alex Tse. The production will be co-produced by Madhouse. Tse pulled writing duty for Zack Snyder’s upcoming Watchmen and has also adapted Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man for Snyder. Appian Way is also currently making headway with their adaptation of Katsuhiro Otomo’s masterpiece Akira.

On a personal sidenote, this news comes as bittersweet. Sure, it is cool that Hollywood has the ability to make such films these days, and there is undoubtedly some talent working on these adaptations, but being that the original works are [to some] untouchable – or at the very least should have the input of the original creators, directors, and/or artists, all of which has been thrown to the wayside in lieu of remaking these projects for American audiences.

Hopefully, Appian & WB will pioneer this with their joint production with Studio Madhouse, the original anime production team. As of yet, there has been no word on the level of their involvement, but hopefully if these great talents play a major role on these live-action anime adaptations, it may ensure that these projects do not ultimately fall prey to cinematic acculturation.

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