‘Kimi No Na Wa,’ AKA ‘Your Name’ Hollywood Remake Sparks Criticism From Fans, Raises Whitewashing Concerns

Japan’s hit animated movie Kimi No Na Wa, translated in the west as Your Name, is getting a live-action treatment courtesy of J.J. Abrams and his team. According to reports, Abrams is developing the Hollywood version of the movie, which came out last year and quickly became Japan’s highest-grossing film ever.

Abrams’ Bad Robot production company and Paramount Pictures won the rights to adapt the Japanese blockbuster. Variety reported that both companies will work together with Toho Co., Ltd., the producers of the original Kimi No Na Wa movie, to develop the live-action version of the story.

Eric Heisserer, who received an Academy Award nomination for hit screenplay for Arrival, will write the screenplay for Kimi No Na Wa.

The original Japanese film was written and directed by Makoto Shinkai, who expressed his excitement about the Hollywood remake. He told Deadline that his film was “created with the innate imaginations of a Japanese team and put together in a domestic medium” and that he hopes the Hollywood remake would bring about new possibilities to the story.

Genki Kawamura, the producer of the original film, was also ecstatic about the collaboration.

“Just like in the film it feels like a dream,” Kawamura said, adding that the discussions about the film so far have been “creatively stimulating.”

“The meetings so far have been creatively stimulating with fantastic ideas that no doubt will make for a great movie. I am greatly honored to work with these incredible creators”

JJ Abrams is developing the live-action remake of 'Kimi No Nawa (Your Name)'. Image by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images]

The announcement, however, was met with little enthusiasm from fans of the original. Following the disappointing turnout of Death Note and Ghost in the Shell, some fans doubt that Abrams’ version of Kimi No Na Wa would be any good.

Although there are no clear plans yet as to how Abrams and his team would approach the film, some already fear that it would be heavily whitewashed. The acclaimed director himself was not spared from the wrath of fans when he cast British actor Benedict Cumberbatch to play Khan Noonien Singh, or simply Khan, in Star Trek Into Darkness. The character was portrayed by Ricardo Montalban in the original sci-fi series and film.

Kimi No Na Wa tells the story of a teenage girl and boy from different backgrounds who later discover that they can live each other’s lives by swapping bodies. It earned $355.2 million worldwide.

[Featured Image by CoMix Wave Films]