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Warners Acquires Live-Action Rights to Bleach

Warner Bros. is “in the process” of acquiring live action rights to create a film based on Tite Kubo’s Bleach manga. Viz Media has published 30 volumes of Kubo’s ongoing Bleach manga here in the U.S. (Volume 31 is due out in June) and is also releasing the Bleach anime, which is produced by Studio Pierrot, here in the States. The Bleach manga has reached 43 volumes in Japan, while the ongoing anime series includes more that 260 episodes so far.

The Bleach manga has been a constant presence on ICv2’s “Top 10 Manga Properties” list for years and the Bleach anime is currently running in a prime spot on Saturday night on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Peter Segal, who directed Get Smart and 50 First Dates, is in negotiations to produce the adaptation along with Viz Media through Segal’s Callahan Filmworks. Warner Bros. has also acquired the rights to create a live action filmg based on Katushiro Otomo’s Akira (see “Hughes Brothers Helming Akira”).

Bleach is the story of a teenage boy, Ichigo, who can see spirits and who meets a female shinigami (Soul Reaper) named Rukia. During a desperate struggle with an evil spirit known as a “hollow,” she transfers her power to Ichigo. Having lost her supernatural powers she is stranded in the human world, while Ichigo must undertake her duties escorting souls to the afterlife.


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