The Hollywood Reporter newspaper’s Heat Vision blog reports that the American film studio Warner Brothers “is in the process of securing the movie rights to” Tite Kubo’s Bleach supernatural action manga series. Director Peter Segal (Get Smart, The Longest Yard, Anger Management) is lining himself up to produce, but not direct. The manga’s North American publisher Viz Media and Segal’s Callahan Filmworks partner Michael Ewing would also produce the proposed project.
The manga follows a 15-year-old boy named Ichigo Kurosaki who becomes a Soul Reaper â€” a “Shinigami” or “God of Death” who protects humans from the “Hollow” spirits that prey on them. Shueisha publishes the manga in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan, and Studio Pierrot has been adapting the manga on television and in movie theaters since 2004. The Adult Swim programming block of America’s Cartoon Network and Canada’s YTV channel have been running the anime.
Warner Brothers has already acquired the rights to adapt Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s Death Note supernatural suspense manga, which â€” like Bleach â€” is published by Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan and by Viz Media in North America. Along with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company, Warner Brothers is also developing adaptations of Yoshiaki Kawajiri and MADHOUSE’s Ninja Scroll action anime film and Katsuhiro Otomo and Kodansha’s Akira science-fiction manga. Viz set up an office in Hollywood in 2008 to promote Viz’s properties to Hollywood interests.