The Naruto Movie Is The Worst Idea Possible For So Many Reasons

By Douglas Helm | Published

Lionsgate announced a live-action Naruto movie way back in 2015, and now there has finally been some forward momentum on the film. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton has been tapped to write and direct the film. But, as perfect as Cretton is for this, the live-action Naruto film is still a terrible idea.

Too Much Story For One Movie

The biggest problem is an obvious one that Lionsgate seems to be completely missing. The Naruto manga is 700 chapters long, so the idea of a Naruto movie is definitely not the right way to go. If they’re going to make a live-action adaptation of the anime, it needs to be a show like Netflix’s popular One Piece adaptation.

What The Movie Could Cover

It’s hard to imagine what the Naruto movie would even cover if Lionsgate isn’t planning on making at least five or six movies. Each arc of Naruto is important, and even trying to cover all of the events before the time skip would take, at the very least, three long movies. Theoretically, the movie could cover the formation of Team Seven, some of Naruto’s backstory, and the mission in the Land of Waves that culminates with battling Zabuza.

The Plot Is Underwraps

Now, to be fair, Lionsgate hasn’t announced its plans regarding the plot of the Naruto movie. If it is planning on taking this long-game approach, maybe the movie could be successful. But, knowing how live-action anime movies usually go, it seems likely it will just be shoving all of the stories from Part 1 into one movie.

Naruto Part 1 Would Take Multiple Movies

That means the Naruto movie would somehow have to cover Naruto’s childhood backstory, the formation of Team 7, the Land of Waves arc, the Chunin Exams, Orochimaru’s invasion of Konoha, Naruto training with Jiraiya and helping him find Tsunade, and the Sasuke Recovery mission arc. To be clear, there’s absolutely zero chance one movie could cover all of this sufficiently. Which is why it’s baffling that this adaptation is going to be a movie instead of a show.

Adapting The Jutsu

That’s not to mention all of the other problems that come with adapting a live-action anime. The cast is going to be incredibly difficult to get right, and the action sequences will need to take a lot of inspiration from the anime while avoiding the goofy effects that anime adaptations sometimes suffer from. Lionsgate is undoubtedly putting a lot of money behind this, thanks to the recent success of Netflix’s One Piece, so this might not be as big of a concern.

From The Director Of Shang-Chi

simu liu, shang-chi

Now, the good news is that Destin Daniel Cretton is definitely a good choice of director/writer, and he has the blessing of Naruto manga creator Masashi Kishimoto. Destin Daniel Cretton proved with Shang-Chi that he could certainly direct action sequences, and many of these action sequences included mythical powers. This experience will undoubtedly come in handy when portraying the ninjutsu, taijutsu, and genjutsu utilized in the Naruto anime. 

Naruto Deserves A Series Not A Movie


Overall, the Naruto movie just doesn’t make a lot of sense, outside of choosing Destin Daniel Cretton as the director and writer for the film. Here’s hoping that Lionsgate can pull it off, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Also, at the very least, they better bring lore-accurate Naruto running to the big screen.