Korean American Director Takes Over to Rewrite, Lead Live-Acton ‘Your Name’

your name

Korean American filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung is set to write and direct a live-action adaptation of the hit Japanese anime film “Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa),” Deadline reports. 

Taking over: Chung, the acclaimed director of 2007’s “Munyurangabo” and this year’s “Minari,” is replacing Marc Webb, who was previously tasked to helm the project.

  • Chung, a son of Korean immigrants, comes from a rural Arkansas town and attended Yale University before dropping plans for medical school to pursue filmmaking.
  • His debut film “Munyurangabo” premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and won the Grand Prize at the 2007 AFI Fest.
  • In his review of “Munyurangabo,” renowned critic Roger Ebert said the film is “in every frame a beautiful and powerful film — a masterpiece.”
  • Meanwhile, Minari premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, winning both the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize as well as the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award.


Reimagination: The new film will be a live-action re-imagining of the romantic fantasy anime about a high school boy from Tokyo and a high school girl from a rural town who become magically linked and swap bodies.

  • The reimagined version takes several elements from the original film, including the two teenagers swapping bodies and a looming disaster that would bring them together.
  • “Your Name” was a massive hit when it was released in Japan in 2016 and the rest of the world the following year, grossing over $350 million worldwide.
  • Filmmaker J.J. Abrams (Bad Robot) is said to be a big fan of the original film and immediately worked towards acquiring the rights for it.
  • The script for the remake, which replaces the Japanese main characters with a “young Native American woman living in a rural area and a young man from Chicago,” was originally written by “Arrival” screenwriter Eric Heisserer. 
  • Chung will rewrite the version of the script drafted by Emily V. Gordon. 
  • Abrams will co-produce the film with Genki Kawamura, who produced the original. 
  • Toho will distribute the upcoming film in Japan, while Paramount will be responsible for other territories. 

Feature Image (left) via Krysalide Diffusion, (right) All the anime

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