After all of the fits and starts that have gone along with Warner Brothers' attempts to bring a live-action Akira to the big screen, the studio has set their sites on another manga/anime property with a huge following: Tite Kubo's Bleach (read more about the Bleach movie at MTV Splashpage!). The studio has partnered with the series' English-language publisher, VIZ, to bring the movie to theaters. More details about the upcoming feature after the jump.
Bleach follows the (mis)adventures of red-headed teen Ichigo who can see ghosts, and Rukia, a Soul Reaper, as they chase down "Hollows," malevolent spirits of the dead which plague humanity. Hugely popular in both manga, anime, and feature-film form, this is WB and VIZ simply teaming up to find a new angle to exploit the property beyond its usual audience.
While no onscreen talent has been announced as of yet (it sounds like the ink has only just dried on the agreement here), Bleach-USA already has a writer whose tapped to begin work on the script sometime this year: Dan Mazeau, whose script credit on Wrath of the Titans is the only work listed on his IMDB page right now. Peter Segal, the producer and directors of a string of comedies, most notably Tommy Boy and most recently Get Smart, is on hand to produce but is looking to direct the film as well. Also handling the producer-ly roles are Michael Ewing and Heroes actor Masi Oka for Callahan Filmworks.
Here's what VIZ Production's Hollywood offices had to say about the project:
“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 Jason Hoffs of VIZ Productions, VIZ Media’s Hollywood-based production company. “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.”
We'll bring you more news about this story as it develops.