Ninja Scroll Officially Headed to the Big Screen, Too!
by Alex Billington
October 26, 2008
First it was Akira, now it's Ninja Scroll, too. Leonardo DiCaprio's production company Appian Way will be producing a live-action adaptation of the classic anime movie for Warner Brothers. Screenwriter Alex Tse, who wrote Zack Snyder's upcoming Watchmen as well as Michael Mann's upcoming Frankie Machine, will be writing the script. No director has been announced yet, but considering Akira picked up a no-name director, I expect Ninja Scroll to probably do the same. At one point, it was rumored that James McTeigue's Ninja Assassin was a Ninja Scroll remake, but that was quickly debunked. Now it's actually happening.
Ninja Scroll is a Japanese action thriller anime written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Yoshiaki Kawajiri. The film was first released in Japan in 1993 and made its way to the US in 1996, where it quickly became one of the most popular anime movies in US history. The anime is set feudal Japan and tells the story of a ninja-for-hire who is forced into fighting an old nemesis who is bent on overthrowing the Japanese government. His nemesis is also the leader of a group of demons each with superhuman powers. In addition to Akira, it's regarded as one of the best anime movies ever made and is just as popular.
One of the biggest questions surrounding this is whether or not all of the violence, gore, sex, and nudity will remain intact in this translation. I'm expecting that Warner Brothers will try to make this PG-13, but then again, it could very well be R. I'm thinking they're waiting to see how Ninja Assassin does in theaters, since that is a very hard R ninja movie. Either way, this is quite an exciting future for anime fans, with Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, and now Ninja Scroll all being converted into live-action Hollywood adaptations. I just hope this trend turns out to be more worthwhile than video game adaptations.
Reader Feedback - 29 Comments
Don't know anything about Ninja Scroll, but I'm 100% OK with Akira & Ghost in the Shell being made live action.
Tyler Hayes on Oct 26, 2008
This is Bad ASS!!!!! I think it could be as good as 300 if done right.
Louis Porter Jr. on Oct 26, 2008
being a fan of ninja scroll, akira, ghost in the shell i would be cautious at live action akira and ghost in a shell have elements that would be hard to do in live action (such as their action sequences) ninja scroll could be done with a mix of crouching tiger hidden dragon, 300 and hellboy (only production values from hellboy, never really liked those movies) but all in all... lets all remember how the dragonball live adaptation is shaping up and shudder in fear of classic anime being ruined
Janny on Oct 26, 2008
this HAS to be rated R...without a doubt. nudity is not a must, but the blood is more than required because it was so artistically portrayed.
Matt Suhu on Oct 26, 2008
The original anime is pretty nuts, there's some pretty messed up scenes in it, I suppose a mix between 300 and Crouching Tiger would be pretty good, who knows...
Crapola on Oct 26, 2008
Don't know why you'd think they'd try to make it PG-13 considering how much money 300 brought in as a brutally violent rated R film with some amazing stylized violence. Warner Brothers isn't exactly pulling punches in the content department... they're not oh... i don't know... 20th Century Fox.
Kent on Oct 26, 2008
Good god, make it stop!
Brad on Oct 26, 2008
this would kick so much ass its not even funny!!! lets hope it is good. and where is the day the earth stood still tv spot, I saw it and it looks great, veary nice.
tyler wilson on Oct 26, 2008
This is great news. I love Ninja Scroll. I hope they handle the film right because if it is, the live version could be very cool.
Film-Book dot Com on Oct 27, 2008
Can't believe some many people are happy about this. Hollywood is starting to ruin anime series now since they ran out of ideas. This is serious BS, and what's worse is people looking forward to all this. I would be more open-minded to this sort of thing if hollywood wouldn't mess up so many good/previous stories, and you know they will put some no-name director with a low budget to make this and rate it pg13 to try to make the most money out of it.
Diego on Oct 27, 2008
Ninja Scroll is an all time classic as well as Street Fighter, if they get the correct ppl working on it, I mean more Japanese writers behind it, martial arts/aikido cheorography and director then it cant go wrong. Rating it 18 (R) is a must as it will show the true colours of NINJA SCROLL.
Fearl3ss on Oct 27, 2008
Like some one said before, Warner bros is not 20th century fox. So the rating will probably remain intact. As to probably getting a no name director, so? All great directors started out with no name. so lets keep the hope.
Red Buttons on Oct 27, 2008
I don't think they should try to remake Ninja Scroll into a live action movie. Use the same main character and his history but make it a different story.
Seth on Oct 27, 2008
Should have been Evangelion.
Nah on Oct 27, 2008
wow...hollywood just getting crazy with anime right now... just look what have they done to the Dragon Ball and SpeedRacer... funny isnt it....
safichan on Oct 27, 2008
I'm actually devastated by this news. I'm not happy at all about the live action remakes of classic animes. Plus, i don't think those anime are ones that will translate well to the screen. Anime stories work for a reason; they aren't real. I feel so violated.
Oh No on Oct 27, 2008
I love the original Ninja Scroll, but how the heck this is going to be made as a live-action movie is another thing altogether. (If you've never seen the animation, see it before commenting further since you have no idea what you are talking about.) If Zack Snyder directs, this has a chance of being something great. Otherwise we could be looking at another Dragonball.
avoidz on Oct 27, 2008
Did anybody here watch already SHINOBI???... that's the real Ninja Scroll Live Action, also known as Basilisk, same demons, same clans, same history...
FAT on Oct 27, 2008
Don't forget Avatar: The Last Airbender is coming to the big screen too...
Peloquin on Oct 28, 2008
Ninja Scroll is chump change, making a live action akira, now that is the hard part....maybe they will release ninja scroll before Akira, just to test the waters... love ninja scroll, but come on, i can churn out a decent ninja scroll movie with under 100 mil
Ram on Oct 29, 2008
FAT, I see what ur saying there. Bichunmoo is also one to watch, he has some kind of laserish thing with his sword usage. Peloquin, AVATAR is not an anime, it is an american animation!
exodus_127 on Nov 2, 2008
Thank God Leonardo will not star in films Akira and Ninja Scroll, all i can tell ya, if you want to make an anime live-action done right, get the right people for the right job, for example, Death Note, i am F#***in impressed, and i love it! Now speaking of Ninja Scroll, if Leonardo decided to change his mind and proceed to star in the film, all i can think of is The Last Samurai, (Tom Cruise), eh?! some people say it was good, to me to be politically correct or incorrect, it's an insult. So with that in mind, to have an American to do a feudal-era anime live-action of Ninja Scroll, it will be far beyond an insult and i will take my money put it into good use, like get a new hobby and become an actor, director, producer or sumthing i dunno lol, all i know it's TORTURE that Hollywood is ruining a good masterpiece of All Best Selling, and Best Well-Known names of Anime/Manga. Do all of us a favor, Stop it! I feel the internal bleeding from hearing and seeing Anime live-action disasters.
MDstatus on Nov 12, 2008
Dear god, i wish they would just stop and try think of there own idea's none and i do mean none of the anime remakes will be any good what so EVER...... But there are going to be some morons who will still go watch it and think OMG it was great only cos they havent watched the anime. PLEASE STOP BEFORE ITS TO LATE lets just all think back on Street Figther live action and believe it or not Fist of the north star.
MadZool on Feb 10, 2009
Ok, we know the upcoming films of Akira (Leonardo DiCaprio starring) 2009, and of course, Cowboy BeBop live action film (Keanu Reeves to play as Spike Spiegel) 2011 release, Now....[sighs heavily/nodding slowly in anguish and disbelief]....... Now, Ninja Scroll live action? umm?????.....yeah ok (sarcastic underbreath speakin) you know what with the company like FOX has already PISSED OFF alot, i mean A LOT of die hard fans of the japanese and manga anime generation, not to mention what will the Japanese would think? WMD hint hint The only thing that personally i think (my opinion) would be a good film(s) for anime live.... would be Samurai Champloo (because the director left an "open window" for the 3 travellers, who went on their seperate ways in the end, so the question is what happened to them, since then?) AND.. Trinity Blood, if you really want a religious, gothic, vampire/cruxnic dogout battles and yet still keep it holy (war) of a theme to it.....yes go for it, i will put my money to go see it!!!! Now, dont go messin up Trinity Blood with a romantic theme to it like, i dont know shall i say along those lines like......................Twilight! (HHAaATTED that film)! Anyways, for Ninja Scroll live action? no. But in the back of my mind, they want to do this live anyway for simply one reason.... Sex sells. Of course! You got the action adventure; sword fights, plot storyline, (which is R rated), and of course throw in a few sex scenes. Now everybody is probably wondering how i figure? I have a 10th anniversary edition in my ALL anime and manga library, so that's a somewhat sneaky, snarky move, and think you're slick to work on a Ninja Scroll live action project, but i have to agree with Mad Zool, think about Street Fighter live action film which really was horrible (from what i heard) thank god i didnt see it! So i did good back then, even now, i didnt miss much! XDD All i can say is about ninja scroll live action? o boy here we go again. i give up! But you know the good news is i have a live action of Death Note.....love it! And i only watch it in subtitles, with the real japanese actors and the right director who did his research and homework for the film (watch the director's interview)! Applause to S. Kaneko (for Death Note)
MDstatus on Feb 13, 2009
first of all, that was the first name that came up my mind, im not a geek who watches anime 24/7, but i really love animes and mangas... and now it really hurts to see: theres gonna be a film about this anime and that anime: all the time... i mean, keanu reeves as spike in cb? YESS HE FITS THE ROLE JUST PERFECT... NOT liveactionmovie of akira? Yeah why not, its not that complicated to extract the content of akira from an anime into a liveactionmovie... oh wait... its actual pretty hard to do that... GHOST IN THE SHELL, are u serious?? how the hell will they do stuff like that. why do they think its drawn? its nearly impossible to do good movies with animes as a background... just look at casshern... i mean the anime sux, but the movie was even worse... not to mention how they gonna screw up dragonball... man just leave anime the way it is and why do they want to do a movie about ninjascroll... i mean, i watched the anime... but it was nothing special... there are tons of better animes which could be brought to cinemas much easier... for example elfenlied... that would be one hell of a liveactionmovie!!! i know my english is not the best but i think u understand what i mean 😉 HIT ME
Otaku-kun on Mar 3, 2009
You gotta be kidding me. the only ones who have the right to make a live action of any anime is Japan. A true Otaku would not be cool with it . All we need is Hollywood to effin' mess up and change many awesome movies. Come on Keanu , Leonardo its just retarded.
sarah on May 22, 2009
Now speaking of Ninja Scroll, if Leonardo decided to change his mind and proceed to star in the film, all i can think of is The Last Samurai, (Tom Cruise), eh?! some people say it was good, to me to be politically correct or incorrect, it's an insult.
Hassan on Jul 16, 2009
Ninja Scroll could work OK if it was done well. Bubblegum Crisis could work if it was done well. There are so many classic anime of the action variety that could make a less-than-terrible transition to the silver screen...but... Akira. Ghost in the Shell. Evangelion. None of these could be translated to Western live-action - even if we had the technology for it (remember that they were struggling with the latest Transformers, then think of Tetsuo's metamorphosis) they're all deeply philosophical works, and by and large Western audiences don't have the mindset or patience for that depth of thinking in-cinema. They'd either flop or go the way of Aeon Flux, and either way it'd be a crying shame. Please, Hollywood, just make a live-action Pokemon or something and leave deep works up to people who can actually do them
Ode to a Grasshopper on Jul 26, 2009
Hello, take this survey on the potential Ninja Scroll Video Game Development: https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dG5LTzZLQ3JyVXJ0SFBPN044TE95aEE6MA
Eduardo on Mar 2, 2010
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