You know, there’s a saying that “there’s no such thing as bad press” and I wonder if we’re seeing a demonstration of that today with THR’s report that Warner Bros. is developing a big-screen adaption of the manga series BLEACH.
Before I explain my assertation, I’ll fill everybody in on this series if you don’t know. It’s a MASSIVE global hit that’s been produced weekly in Japan by “mangaka” Tite Kube and the plot shakes down a little like this…
The story centers on a 15-year-old boy who has the ability to see ghosts and meets a female Soul Reaper, a member of an order that escorts the souls of the dead. A fight with an evil spirit causes the Reaper to transfer all her power to the boy, leaving her stranded in the human world and the boy taking over her job as a fighter of evil.
Getting to back to the “bad press” thing… I bring that up because some of you might have heard of this series a couple weeks back after Nick Simmons was accused of plagiarizing it in his comic, INCARNATE. Notably, some of you might have heard of it for the first time, there, and, perhaps, looked up the book after it was brought to your attention. Thus, a seemingly negative case of accused plagiarism actually benefits the book that’s supposedly been wronged. I can’t help thinking that sort of thing might be coming into play here. Sure, this deal might be a long time in development, given how huge the manga is, but it isn’t too far out of the realm of possibility to suggest that a WB exec might have first of BLEACH when the plagiarism case showed up in the trades and figured, “Hey, this might make a good movie.”
If it plays out, this will be joining PRIEST and ASTRO BOY in the American-adaptations-of-anime-and-manga department. Peter Segal, the director of GET SMART and 50 FIRST DATES, is lined up to direct and I say, “Don’t freak out.” Give the guy a chance - - there have been many directors who’ve successfully transitioned from one kind of movie genre to another.
-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.