your name remake director

The English-language Your Name remake has officially landed a director. 500 Days of Summer and The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb has been tapped to helm the new version. Webb will be directing a reimagined version of the hit 2016 anime sci-fi/romance film, which will now center around a Native American woman and a young man from Chicago.

Deadline broke the news that Webb has been, ahem, webbed in to direct the Your Name remake, which will be penned by Oscar-nominated Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer. Toho, the studio behind the original acclaimed anime film directed by Makoto Shinkai, have teamed up with Paramount and Bad Robot to produce the “reimagined” English-language version, which now follows a Native American girl and a Chicago boy who get magically body-swapped.

Here is the current synopsis for the film, per Deadline:

In this reimagined version, a young Native American woman living in a rural area and a young man from Chicago discover they are magically and intermittently swapping bodies. When a disaster threatens to upend their lives, they must journey to meet and save their worlds.

Well, they did say “Americanized.” Native American culture is probably the closest American parallel to the Shinto traditions featured in the original film, and it’s not a culture that has been done much justice in Hollywood. But could this be a great chance for Native American representation in a major feature film? I’ll hold out hope, but remain cautiously optimistic — especially considering J.K. Rowling’s recent bungled attempts to pull Native American culture into her Harry Potter mythology. And there’s also the question of whether Webb can sensitively handle this premise heavily involving Native American culture.

Webb did a tremendous job with 500 Days of Summer to be sure, but his track record with the Amazing Spider-Man movies has me slightly concerned. He hasn’t directed many feature films since the debacle of those two films — which can probably be partly attributed to studio intervention — except for Gifted, a low-key but touching indie drama. He is also the executive producer behind one of my favorite shows Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but his diverse resume makes it hard for me to pinpoint the directorial style he’ll bring to Your Name. From his previous works, I’d guess something a touch more zany than the hauntingly ephemeral 2016 anime film.

The original film’s producer Genki Kawamura, who is producing the remake alongside J.J. Abrams and executive producer Lindsey Weber, said Webb was the team’s first choice to direct this “refashioned interpretation of the film.”

“As we saw in (500) Days Of Summer, Marc has a tremendous talent for telling great love stories,” Kawamura continued, “and in the same way moviegoers were captivated by the original film, we are certain Marc will engage fans of the original and an entirely new audience for these characters’ beautiful journey. With J.J. Abrams producing, Eric Heisserer writing and Marc directing, this project officially has the team we dreamed about.”

While the lack of a person of color or of Native American descent behind the scenes is concerning, it’s still early days. The only thing we can do for now is wait and see if the casting for the Your Name remake does justice to its ambitious premise.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: