Bleach Movie Moves Forward With Get Smart Director

Bleach Movie Moves Forward With Get Smart Director

A very long time ago, we reported on the possibility of a live-action adaptation of “Bleach,” the famous Japanese manga, heading to the big screen. Two years later, plans are still vague but slightly more set in stone.

Variety reports that the project is official, now that the rights have been acquired by Warner Bros. The movie will be written by Dan Mazeau (“Wrath of the Titans”) and produced by Peter Segal (“Get Smart”), who will be considered to direct.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of ‘Bleach,'” Segal told Variety, “and have great respect for its creator Kubo and the truly original and amazing world he has created in this manga.”

For non-Japanophiles, “Bleach” is about a teenager named Ichigo who finds out he’s been gifted with the ability to see ghosts and decides to spend his life protecting the innocent from malevolent souls causing a ruckus. (His gang of friends helps out, too.) More than 75 million copies have been circulated in Japan alone, and the anime adaptation aired on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim a few years ago.

There’s obviously some kind of market to watch a live action version in theaters, but it will have to be properly tapped: the most recent anime adaptation I can think of, “Dragonball,” fizzled horribly at the box office after plenty of the manga’s idiosyncratic details were changed to be more appealing on a mass level. That’s to be expected, but when you go too far — say, by turning Piccolo into a white vampire — original fans will be more than turned off, and it simply won’t appeal to any new audiences.

Viz Media, the English-language publisher of “Bleach,” will reportedly assist in producing the project, so hopefully it shouldn’t go too awry. A targeted release date hasn’t been announced, but let’s hope we won’t have to wait another two years for further details.

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