Matt Kamen is on the casting couch for Bleach the Movie
Big-screen Bleach is big business – hot on the heels of the third animated movie, Fade to Black, American studio Warner Bros announces plans for a live-action Bleach movie. Temper the hatred for a second though: unlike the hopefully aborted Akira remake, with the right cast and an appropriate effects budget, a cinematic Bleach movie might not be too bad. So, if Warner reps are reading, here are a few casting suggestions!
Rory Culkin as Ichigo Kurasaki. Put aside thoughts of elder brother Macauley’s typecasting in the Home Alone movies and you’ll find the Culkin clan actually has some impressive acting talents. Youngest brother Rory’s first major role was as Mel Gibson’s son in the 2002 sci-fi movie Signs, and he’s since racked up a ton of critically acclaimed appearances in indie films. As for the physical challenge playing Ichigo would require, Culkin was recently cast as the new Ghostface in Scream 4, so there’s little to worry about there. At 22, he’s about the right age to still pass for a teenager onscreen, too.
Chiaki Kuriyama as Rukia Kuchiki. Kuriyama might be a bit old for the role of Rukia – she’s just hit 27, while the character is meant to appear 15 – but if Warners want to add some Asian cinema authenticity to their Bleach outing, they could do worse than adding her to the starring credits. The talented actress effortlessly pulled off ‘deadly schoolgirl’ in both Tarantino’s Kill Bill Part One and Kinji Fukusaku’s Battle Royale and, having appeared in the original Ju-On as Mizuho, she also has the chops to pull off the horror elements a Bleach movie would require.
Logan Lerman as Uryu Ishida. Lerman isn’t a household name – he’s best known for playing Percy Jackson in The Lightning Thief – but between a growing number of respectable turns in reflective dramas and bigger Hollywood fare alike, his star is on the rise. Crucially though, he also has legitimate action film skills from his role as d’Artagnan in last year’s The Three Musketeers, for which he reportedly trained for three months. Top that up with some archery, dye his hair black and throw on a pair of specs and you have a talented young actor to bring Uryu to life.
Tom Hardy as Byakuya Kuchiki. Presuming an initial Bleach movie for western viewers would adapt the Ichigo’s induction as a Soul Reaper and the eventual infiltration of Soul Society to rescue Rukia, then her conceited elder brother Byakuya would be filling the villain’s role (with the series’ arch-nemesis Sousuke Aizen saved for sequels). For such an arrogant and physically imposing figure as Byakuya, Hardy would be perfect – plus he’s already on Warners’ radar thanks to his upcoming showcase as hulking villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.
Quinton Flynn as Kon. The chances of a highly-merchandisable and kid-friendly character such as Kon being dropped are slim, but the snarky lion plush is likely to get a CG makeover. Flynn is already Kon’s voice in the anime’s dub – why not give him the nod for the movie, too? Failing that, Warners will probably try to get Jack Black or Ben Stiller to do another ‘funny animal’ voice....
Bleach: Fade to Black is out next week from Manga Entertainment. The Bleach live-action movie is still “in development”.
Better ideas for Bleach casting..? Shove them in the comments section and let's see who's right!