Live-action Bleach movie coming from...Warner Bros.?
1:00 PM on 02.23.2012 // Bob Muir
Since Hollywood learned nothing from that stinker Dragonball: Evolution, it's decided to take another stab at adapting a popular fighting anime/manga franchise. This time around, it's Bleach, that classic story of a high school kid who accidentally gains bad-ass Soul Reaper powers, fights evil spirits, and masters the uncanny ability to drag out a storyline until everyone gives up in frustration.
My bad, that last bit might be author Tite Kubo's superpower.
After first considering it back in 2010, Variety reports that Warner Bros. has bought the rights to make a movie based on Bleach and is already moving forward on a script, currently being written by Dan Mazeau (Wrath of the Titans). Peter Segal (Get Smart) will produce and possibly direct. Segal has "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."
Other producers include Michael Ewing and Masi Oka as part of Callahan Filmworks, while Viz Productions, a division of Bleach's US distributor, will add Jason Hoffs as producer. Branon Coluccio is executive producing, while WB executive Jon Berg is managing the project.
Since we have no details on how they plan to adapt the sprawling story, it's time for a little speculation after the jump.
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An American Bleach adaptation would feature a mostly American cast with some nods to its Japanese roots; in fact, making main character Ichigo an American among an all-Japanese cast of Soul Reapers might be an effective "fish out of water" trope. Some may complain about this, but I think an American main character is inevitable. As long as they stay true to the character's personality and also stay true to the Japanese undertones of the Soul Reapers, I think it will work out alright.
Also, I would expect a ton of characters to get cut, considering that manga like Bleach introduce way too many characters for anyone watching a two-hour movie to keep track of.
As for the story, if they know what's good for a film that needs to establish a universe, they'll create a mostly original story that loosely adapts all of the pre-Soul Society arc material, saving the Soul Society for a potential sequel. Otherwise, there will be way too much to fit into one film, and Aizen's revelations at the end of the Soul Society arc would need to be rewritten to give more closure for a film with no confirmed sequel.
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