Lee Isaac Chung, whose upcoming film Minari earned rave reviews at Sundance, has been tapped to rewrite and direct the English-language remake of Your Name for Paramount, Toho and J.J. Abrams‘ company Bad Robot.
Abrams will produce along with Genki Kawamura, who produced the original film, while Lindsey Weber will serve as an executive producer on the project. Eric Heisserer (Arrival) and Emily V. Gordon (The Big Sick) penned earlier drafts of the script, and Chung will work off of Gordon’s draft. Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man) was previously attached to direct.
The story, which has been re-imagined a bit from the original movie, follows two teenagers who 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.
The original 2016 anime movie was a romantic fantasy drama that became an instant classic in Japan, where it grossed $303 million. Multiple studios bid on the remake rights to Your Name when they went on the market in 2017, but Abrams was a big fan of the original and made sure that Bad Robot and Paramount came out on top. Toho will handle distribution of the film in Japan, while Paramount will release the film in all other territories.
The son of Korean immigrants, Chung grew up on a small farm in rural Arkansas before attending Yale and abandoning medical school for a career as a filmmaker. His debut feature Munyurangabo premiered at Cannes, and led to A24 and Brad Pitt‘s company Plan B backing Minari, which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at Sundance earlier this year. Not only is he a good fit for Your Name, but he’s a great “get” by Paramount and Bad Robot, as the sky is the limit for this talented filmmaker.
Steven Yeun stars in Minari, which follows a Korean family who move to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s, and the film is expected to be a major awards contender this year.