It looks as if Warner Brothers is really determined to make a live action adaptation of an anime really soon. With development on the live action Akira film stalling, WB is getting to work on adapting ‘Bleach’, a very popular manga and anime from Japan. Since debuting in 2001, it has produced 53 volumes that have sold 75 million copies in Japan alone, a hit animated TV show on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, and four animated feature films.
Created by Tite Kubo, ‘Bleach’ follows Ichigo Kurosaki, a teenager with the ability to see spirits who unintentionally absorbs the power of a Soul Reaper. With his new powers, he takes on the responsibility of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife.
Peter Segal, director of the ‘Get Smart’ and ‘The Longest Yard’ remakes, will produce the film along with Michael Ewing of Callahan Filmworks, Masi Oka of NBC’s ‘Heroes’, and Viz Productions, a subsidiary of the English-language publisher of ‘Bleach’. Screenwriter Dan Mazeau, who also penned WB’s upcoming ‘Wrath of the Titans’, is attached to write the screenplay. Segal may also take the helm and direct the picture as well, but that is not confirmed as of yet.
Warner Brothers has been trying to acquire the film rights for this project since 2010. In addition to ‘Bleach’ and ‘Akira’, the studios also have the rights to other popular mangas such as ‘Death Note’ and ‘Ninja Scroll’.
“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 tells Variety. Hopefully he and the rest of his team continues to respect the source material as they continue to develop the project. I may be unfamiliar with ‘Bleach’, but I’m sure I could imagine that fans of the manga and anime will agree with me: We wouldn’t want another ‘Dragonball Evolution’ on our hands.