Hollywood is very familiar with live-action anime ventures, but the industry has yet to get the genre right. Like comic book films before it, anime adaptations are still trying to find footing in the U.S., and it seems Warner Bros. once had plans to make a live-action Bleach adaptation.
However, Tite Kubo just revealed he made the studio abort plans for the adaptation. The creator says Hollywood’s take on the franchise had too many similarities to its infamous Dragonball Evolution disaster.
Recently, Kubo appeared on TBS Radio and spoke with Sandwich Man’s Weekly Radio about his long tenure with Bleach. The creator was asked about Hollywood’s now-forgotten plans to adapt the franchise, and Kubo admits he had a hand in stopping the feature from coming to life. ComicBook has translated a summary from Get News Japan, so you can read up on Kubo’s damning comments below:
“This is a story that has not appeared on the table yet,” the creator said, nodding to his shocking comments.
As Kubo explains, the film’s possible director and lead actor came to Japan and had dinner with him to talk about Bleach. It seems the actor in talks to play Ichigo was a big fans of the series, but Kubo said production on the film made him nervous.
“I admit that the production was progressing along fairly well, but the screenplay hasn't really gotten together, revealing the reason why the plan seems to have fallen apart.”
According to the creator, Hollywood was willing to spend big bucks on Bleach, but the studio’s need to impress fiscal backers turned the adaptation into something it should not. The film was set in a traditional U.S. high school, and Kubo said Warner Bros. didn’t make the adaptation feel like Bleach.
“It is a good story, but it doesn’t not have anything to do with Bleach,” Kubo said.
The creator admits he asked for the screenplay to be corrected multiple times, but its handling was not organized well. Eventually, enough time passed that Warner Bros. lost its rights to Bleach since Kubo would not okay its development.
If you are not familiar with Hollywood's former plans for Bleach, then you should know Warner Bros. announced it was developing such an adaptation back in 2010. Peter Segal was being eyed to produce and direct the project after working on Get Smart and The Longest Yard. Masi Oka from Heroes was also rumored to be attached to the project as a producer, but it seems like Kubo was not pleased with how his franchise was handled abroad. And, if the creator is right, then he prevented another Dragonball Evolution from happening.