Feb 23rd 2012 By: Andy Khouri
The neck-breaking speed with which the much maligned AKIRA
live-action film goes in and out of active development has me unsure as to its present status, but the movie blog people
seem to think it's dead for the moment. However, seemingly determined to bring some
manga to American cinema audiences, Warner Bros.
is moving forward with a film based on Bleach
, the long-running and hugely popular shonen series by Tite Kubo
. The movie is being written by Wrath of the Titans
screenwriter Dan Mazeau
under the auspices of Get Smart
and 50 First Dates
director Peter Segal
, who will produce Bleach
star Masi Oka
and Viz Productions
With more than 75 million copies in print since it launched in 2001, Bleach
is the story of a teenager who can see ghosts, and by virtue of that comes into contact with an injured Soul Reaper (kind of like the Grim Reaper), who grants him the ability to protect humanity from supernatural evils and guide the souls of the dead safely into the afterlife.
"I've always been a huge fan of Bleach
and have great respect for its creator Kubo and the truly original and amazing world he has created in this manga," Segal told Variety
, who also report that Oka brought the project to Segal's Callahan Filmworks company, and that Segal may end up directing the film.
Rob Bricken suggests that unlike AKIRA
and Dragon Ball
, Kubo's broad supernatural adventure story may not be so indelibly Japanese that it defies Americanization. It will be interesting to see if the project engenders the negative reaction seen with other manga adaptations, or if Hollywood gets it right this time.
is available in English volumes from Viz Media
and digitally from VizManga.com
. The Bleach anime is set to conclude in March, and Kubo's manga begins its final story arc later this year.