We're actually surprised it didn't happen sooner. Hollywood, an industry rapidly running out of comic books, video games and 1980s TV series to remake, is turning to anime and manga for material. Time will tell if this is a trend, but Warner Bros. – the company that also tried to get an American Akira off the ground last year, before Chronicle beat them to it – has acquired the rights to Bleach, the popular anime/manga from Tite Kubo, with an eye on making a live-action feature film.
Bleach tells the story of a young man who's able to see ghosts, who winds up with the power of a Soul Reaper (kind of like a Grim Reaper), who ushers human souls into the afterlife and defends the living from supernatural monsters. Our hero is forced to take on the mantle, in a concept that sounds a lot like Dead Like Me, but with more fighting. The series is immensely popular, with 53 volumes published since the first installment in 2001, an anime series and several feature films in Japan.
What makes this story truly unusual, however, is the person who brought the property to Warner Bros. attention. You'd think with this kind of material there'd be some punk wunderkind or action movie mogul involved, but according to Variety the man in question is Peter Segal, whose feature film career consists entirely of light comedies like Tommy Boy, The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps and Get Smart, which at least had some actions sequences in it. He'll produce the film and possibly direct it from a script by Wrath of the Titans co-writer Dan Mazeau.
Segal sounds legitimately excited about adapting the series, stating, "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." It's easy to jump on the guy for his resume, but let's not forget that Mel Brooks produced David Cronenberg's The Fly, or that Peter Jackson's biggest production prior to The Lord of the Rings was the box office dud The Frighteners. If the passion is there, a quality film could follow.
CraveOnline will be back with more Bleach news after we do spike our hair.