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Movement in Bleach Manga Movie
To date, Hollywood has had a pretty rough time with adaptation of manga and anime. With the boxoffice bombs of movies such as Speed Racer and Dragonball: Evolution, you’d think Hollywood executives would give up on bringing to life something that is so precious to fans that even a slight change to the story will incite rage. Even M. Night Shyamalan’s take on The Last Airbender was critically lambasted. But this doesn’t stop filmmakers from trying.
Now that the live-action rendition of Akira has been put on hold, producers have their eyes on another anime to mangle. This time they have their sights set on Bleach. That’s right folks, Warner Bros. has acquired live-action feature rights to Tite Kubo’s manga and anime property Bleach. Variety is telling us that Dan Mazeau (Wrath of the Titans) will be in charge of adapting the manga for the big screen. And to direct, they’re looking at Get Smart’s Peter Segal who is already set to produce. The film will also be co-produced by Michael Ewing and actor-producer Masi Oka (Heroes) along with VIZ Productions.
Should executives confirm Segal as the director of the project, the choice would seems to be a bit off course. Segal has not headed up a picture since 2008′s Get Smart, and he is known mainly for working on comedies such as Tommy Boy, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Anger Management, and the more recent 50 First Dates. Get Smart is a good blend of comedy and action but the slapstick laden film is a pretty far cry from the often darkly violent and serious nature of the Bleach universe – though there are some comedic bits. It seems Segal might be out of his element for this one unless he has been biding his time, waiting for the perfect opportunity to showcase his talents for directing action movies.
Segal says he is a fan of the anime 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,” but will he stay true to the story? And most importantly, will the casting stay true? As we have seen in the past in The Last Airbender and now is the current casting of the “almost” live-action Akira, and the continued rumor of an Americanized version of Old Boy, Hollywood likes to cast predominantly white actors even if the cast shouldn’t be. If Hollywood continues to follow this pattern, the cast of Bleach will likely be, well, bleached, which is sad, and will probably ruin the movie.
In a press release Jason Hoffs of VIZ Productions said of 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,” I smell a franchise since the story can’t really be told in one two hour movie. Hoffs added, “‘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.”
So Bleach fans, should a live-action version be made? And who would you like to see cast in the film?