The two companies announced Wednesday that they will work with Japan-based Toho Co., Ltd., the producers of the original animated film, to develop a live-action take on the story. Toho will handle distribution of the film in Japan.
Abrams and Lindsey Weber will produce for Bad Robot, along with Genki Kawamura, producer of the original film. Eric Heisserer, who received an Academy Award nomination for his “Arrival” screenplay, will write the screenplay for “Your Name.”
The Japanese film was created, written, and directed by Makoto Shinkai. It tells the story of a teenage boy and girl from different backgrounds who discover they can swap bodies. They become desperate to cross space and time to find a way to meet and stop an impending disaster.
“We are excited to collaborate with an extremely talented team in Hollywood,” said Yoshishige Shimatani, CEO of Toho Co. “And to create with them a live-action version of the iconic Japanese film ‘Your Name.’”
Paramount-based Abrams is one of Hollywood’s most prolific producers with credits on the “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” “Mission: Impossible,” and “Cloverfield” franchises. He directed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and came on board on Sept. 12 to replace Colin Trevorrow as director on “Star Wars: Episode IX.”
“Just like in the film it feels like a dream,” said Kawamura. “Mr. Abrams and his team have captivated audiences in their masterful reinvention of known properties. And Mitsuha and Taki have found a perfect narrator, Mr. Heisserer, to tell their sci-fi infused love story, which gave the film such drive. 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 in bringing to audiences the Hollywood live-action version of ‘Your Name.’”
Executive producers of the original “Your Name” were Minami Ichikawa, Keiji Ota, and Yoshihiro Furusawa for Toho Co. and Noritaka Kawaguchi for CoMix Wave Films.
“Your Name” grossed $303 million in Japan and held the top spot at the box office for 12 weeks. It’s also the highest-grossing Japanese film to release in China with $85.6 million.