So far, Hollywood has had a tough time with adaptations of manga and anime titles; films like “Speed Racer” and “Dragonball: Evolution” have stalled at the box office, while M. Night Shyamalan’s take on the anime-influenced “Last Airbender” was critically lambasted. Likewise, “Akira” seems stuck in development limbo.
Warner Bros. is hoping to buck the trend with an upcoming live-action adaptation of VIZ Media’s hit multimedia property “Bleach.”
“Get Smart” director Peter Segal is set to produce the adaptation through his Callahan Filmworks, and could end up directing as well.
“Wrath of the Titans” screenwriter Dan Mazeau is writing the film, while Michael Ewing and actor-producer Masi Oka (“Heroes”) will co-produce along with VIZ Productions.
Created by Tite Kubo, the best-selling manga and its popular anime adaptation center on a teen named Ichigo who sees dead people, including mean-spirited spirits known as Hollows. After acquiring the powers of a Soul Reaper named Rukia, Ichigo dedicates his life to protecting the innocent from harmful spirits and helping tortured souls find peace after death.
A dubbed version of the Japanese animated series aired in the U.S. on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block.
“‘Bleach’ has built a huge international following in its manga and anime formats, and we”re excited that Warner Bros. shares our belief that ‘Bleach’ can also become a fantastic live-action film,” said VIZ Productions’ Jason Hoffs in a release. “‘Bleach’ is an exciting opportunity to mix Japanese and Hollywood storytelling to create something new for the big screen, and we”re thrilled for the opportunity to further expose its unique characters and story to film audiences everywhere.”
“Bleach” fans — is a live-action version a good idea? Who would you want to see in the cast?