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Warner Brothers Plans Live Action Adaptation of Grim Reaper Manga "Bleach"

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Column by Scott Green


A lion share of the globally best known manga/anime series come the magazine Shonen Jump. Dragon Ball ran there. As did Yu-Gi-Oh, Yu Yu Hakusho, Death Note, Slam Dunk, Ruroni Kenshin, Saint Seiya and plenty more. Over the last decade, Jump's "Big Three" most popular have been ninja series Naruto (most popular in America), pirate series One Piece (by far most popular in Japan) and shinigami/death god series Bleach. Both Bleach and Naruto are apparently late in their runs and there's debate how deeply they are in decline. Meanwhile Toriko... kindof a foodie version of Dragon Ball, is ascent.

Now, Warner Brothers, who has Death Note in the pipeline, has picked up a second Jump death-god series with plans for a live action take on Bleach. According to Variety, Tite Kubo's series will be adapted by "Wrath of the Titans" scribe Dan Mazeau.Peter Segal ("Get Smart") will produce with an eye toward possibly directing.

Variety describes series a the adventures of Ichigo, a teenager who can see ghosts. When his family is attacked by a Hollow -- a malevolent lost soul -- Ichigo inadvertently absorbs the power to hunt Hollows. He then dedicates his life to protecting the innocent and helping tortured souls find peace.

Segal's Callahan Filmworks partner Michael Ewing will also produce along with Masi Oka and Viz Prods., a subsidiary of Viz Media, the English-language publisher of "Bleach." Jason Hoffs will produce for Viz, while Branon Coluccio will exec produce. WB exec Jon Berg will oversee the project for the studio.



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  • Feb. 22, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST


    by tomdolan04

    Oops wrong Warner Bros. manga live action adaptation that will never happen

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Well ...

    by Beniffer

    I don't know how the hell they will do that ... if you can't do Akira ... Anyways, this is truly bad .. I have grown away from the series, however, it is a good piece of anime

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Hopefully someone can instruct me

    by maelstrom_ZERO

    . . .but when has there EVER been a decent live-action movie adaptation of an anime/manga property?

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    On the topic of Live Action Anime...

    by TheMachinist

    Stop it. Seriously, you've seen the results time and time again, and it never works out. Dragon Ball Evolution was crap, the Death Note special was crap, etc. etc.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST

    As long as they stay away from Naruto.. but you never know.

    by CodeName

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 10:27 p.m. CST

    And they will mess this up.

    by CodeName

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 10:31 p.m. CST

    why don't they actually listen to us? ..

    by Beniffer

    The top, what, 5-10 responses where all "bad .. bad .. bad .. wtf" .. I know we are largely cynical in here, however, as has been said, they have never done a proper anime - live action and they probably never will. So WHY?! .. the people who make the decisions for this stuff have to know there is no way to do this to make fans happy .. and the general public? How do you get them to jump on the franchise out of the blue? Airbender did .. meh .. this better not come true.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 10:33 p.m. CST

    It'll just be incoherent junk...with live people.

    by alienindisguise

    That's all any anime/manga to live action will ever be.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    I knew it! They'll mess it up. Give it to me.

    by mistergreen

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 10:45 p.m. CST

    No. Just no.

    by elgato73

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    What in the holy snatch was that?

    by torontoxic

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    For the love of

    by mongo126

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 11:10 p.m. CST


    by IceTitan

    Could you imagine if somebody actually said that? Also, I wonder when they're going to bastardize Ninja Scroll.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Calling it right now. Total Shit Stinker.

    by Bob

    Like others have pointed out, look no further than Dragonball Evolution on how well Hollywood understands and adapts things.

  • Feb. 22, 2012, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Pouty lady boy emo bullshit. I recall when tentacles raped and robots were giant.

    by the Green Gargantua


  • Feb. 23, 2012, midnight CST

    Lets watch Hollywood fuck this up.

    by Phategod2

    Let me guess a $25 million budget with 15 going towards marketing. A cast of nobody's a script written by Dan Mazeau's kid one lazy night. will equal easily forgotten crap.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 12:05 a.m. CST

    To answer your question

    by Phategod2

    Old Boy is probably the best (and the only good) Live action movie based on a Manga/Anime.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 12:05 a.m. CST

    Hollywood would be better off

    by Phategod2

    taking the themes and Ideas from Bleach and just making a totally different movie.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 12:25 a.m. CST

    One Piece is amazing

    by Ozman X

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Some animation just doesn't lend itself to Live Action

    by LordSoth

    Unless it has an amazing budget and has amazing fight choreography . . . Nah. They'll probably remove all the Eastern Mythology from a show about Eastern Mythology.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 12:50 a.m. CST

    Absolutely love Bleach

    by solvseus

    Even when it's not great (like some of the side arcs) it's still kinda cool. Not even that in to anime, but some of it like this, Death Note, Code Geass, Cowboy Bebop, and Inuyasha can be pretty good. There was even one that seemed boring early on that Cartoon Network was showing that I got into too. Can't remember the name, but it was enjoyable. And Fullmetal Alchemist was awesome. That being said, this will suck.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 1:01 a.m. CST

    I love Bleach, so I'll pray this movie dies quickly.

    by Nuts

    Besides, this story is soooo japanese. The last thing I want to see is it being "Americanized". Ugh.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Hollywood can't pull it off, but Japan has been able

    by Chief Joseph

    to pull off a few live-action adaptations well. Lone Wolf and Cub Lady Snowblood Takashi Miike's adaptations (Fudoh: The New Generation, Ichi the Killer) I also thought Death Note was pretty good as was the first Gantz. There are probably others that I'm forgetting. As for Hollywood's attempts, I think Speed Racer is the only one that wasn't complete garbage.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 2:55 a.m. CST

    @lambcamera what about Battle Royal and Ichy the Killer?

    by KilliK

    you do know they were movie adaptations of the original mangas/animes?

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 5:47 a.m. CST

    toriko is fabulous

    by niven

    Truly a great successor to Naruto and Bleach which are as you said in decline, and is a great fantastic companion to One Piece (which is still going strong) Problem is with Death Note, Dragonball, Bleach etc etc is that all of them are so inherently japanese, it's not just the language but everything from culture, mannerisms and it's goddamned inception are pure japanese. Bleach is about shinigami (aka death gods) everything about it mixes samurai culture, the distinct school/urban culture and japanese judeo christian mythos. Just like Akira was a comment on post-nuclear japan (the only country that can truly make a real statement on this) or death note had celebrity and weird fangirl nature of the death obsessed masses in death note. There isn't that kinda culture in the US or UK these remakes simply wouldn't work.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 6:03 a.m. CST


    by asojax

    yeah there has been at least one that i know of, "OLDBOY" is probably the only good adaptation of a manga series to film while they did change a few things it's probably the best place for any studio thinking about making a manga to live action adaptation. But of course i doubt that a bleach live action movie would be done right unless they take the spirit of the manga and make a movie about the characters and fights, since Tite Kubo writes characters not story that's why bleach has always fallen flat as far as story goes.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 6:40 a.m. CST

    you know...

    by ron2112

    I had absolutely no interest in this film. After seeing this fan trailer, I may be persuaded to go see it.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Please not ever

    by John Hammel

    Problem is, someone probably saw that it is full of young people so a live-action version would appeal to *the kids*. Ha! I can't imagine anyone, let alone Warners managing to make anything but a *kid cool* pyrotechnic special effects mess out of this property. Leave it alone.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Sounds like we need a Cowboy Bebop Script Review...

    by TheAwareness

    Ill see what i can do..sit tight

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Will it have a Nirvana soundtrack?

    by Nice Marmot

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Hope it's as good as Dragonballz & Speedracer!!....

    by cameron

    ......coz day were classix!!

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 3:21 p.m. CST

    There's no reason live action adaptations can't be good.

    by Geomancer21

    they just need the right people behind them. and the right budgets. DB evo served its purpose, it got DB out of the way, a sequal would just have to be DBZ. it could kick all major kinds of ass if done right. But don't hate on speedracer, it's alot better then it should be. frankly i think people just don't get it. or are turned off by the style. G-Savior on the other hand......

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 4:53 p.m. CST

    uh huh...

    by Joe Damiani

    Does this mean Ichigo will become Isacc, Ryukia will be Rachel and Tatsuki will be Tracy? Or will they actually try to stay faithful to the manga?

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 5:29 p.m. CST


    by DeusExMachina

    The reason why the two you mentioned were good is because they weren't fantastical. It's way easier to do something without all the high flying shit. That's not saying it can't be done though. If you can do a Clash of the Titans then Bleach can be done as well. It has to be taken seriously though.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Done right? Yeah, um.. how?

    by Billyeveryteen

    Ichigo and fifty other heroes taking turns fighting fifty bad guys?

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Manga doesn't lend itself to the 2 hour movie format

    by Hadesbc

    You can't adapt all of the Bleach world and a full story in a 2 hour movie. They couldn't do it with DragonBall or The Last Air Bender which actually should have been adaptable as the show was approx. 20 episodes a season/storyline. Shows like Bleach and Naruto are 60 or more episodes for one complete story. You CAN'T condense 60+ episodes of a show that gives you all that time to accept how different the world is and then grow to like the characters and their complexities over that time. Cowboy Bebop could be made into a movie. As could something like Gungrave and even Death Note could, but a long running manga that has 300+ episodes/issues isn't possible. Fans won't accept the watered down version and novices won't know what the hell is happening.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 7:13 p.m. CST

    blah blah blah

    by shane calhoun

    every time warner brothers say's there going to do a live action manga well we all know what happens next development hell.

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 8:41 p.m. CST

    WTF is a bleach?!?

    by Norman Colson

    Most of these little anime shows are fucking garbage! omg, will some american writers please go over there and show them how to write a fucking story for once and for all... I love anime i just hate the fact that the stories make no sense and the characters are horribly made...

  • Feb. 23, 2012, 11:41 p.m. CST

    There was going to be a live action US Rurouni Kenshin movie

    by ParagonComplex

    Until Dragonball Evolution or whatever that big screen abortion was named came out, and then Watsuki, the Kenshin creator, refused to allow it.

  • March 5, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Just because Hollywood hasn't pulled it off yet...

    by Bernie Margolis

    doesn't mean that they can't. Let's keep our fingers crossed. If they succeed at this we might get closer to mainstream acceptance of manage in the United States. If they fail it's par for the course.