It looks like Ichigo’s jumping into the thick of things already!

Last night, we reported that a live-action Bleach movie is in development and on-track for a 2018 release. Earlier today, Japanese news site Yaraon! reported that Sota Fukushi was tapped to star in the film as Ichigo. Shinsuke Sato (Gantz, Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror) was tapped to direct the feature.

Weekly Shonen Jump Reveal - Bleach Live-Action Movie - 20160818

Sota Fukushi has been active in the Japanese film industry since 2010. He made his TV debut in 2011, when he played Sōta Murano in drama series Misaki Number One!!

Since his début, Fukushi has gone on to play Gentaro Kisaragi, the titular Kamen Rider in Kamen Rider Fourze (2011). He’s played the character in all appearances to date, with the most recent appearance of the character being in 2013’s Kamen Rider × Super Sentai × Space Sheriff: Super Hero Taisen Z.

Outside of Kamen Rider, Fukushi has peformed in over a dozen films and TV series, including:

  • Yamato Kurosawa in Say “I love you” (2014)
  • Hikaru Tezuka in Library Wars: The Last Mission (2015)
  • Madoka Tsutsumi in Omukae desu (2016)
  • Tenka Kumō in Laughing Under the Clouds (2017)

Bleach Anime Visual 001 - 20160817Bleach first kicked off in the pages of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump on August 20, 2001. The series currently spans 509 chapters and 16 collected volumes. The next compilation is slated to hit retailers on November 1.

Bleach received an anime adaptation, which hit Japanese TV in January 2002, and ran through 2012. The 366-episode series was helmed by Noriyuki Abe (Black Butler: Book of Circus, Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files) at Studio Pierrot, with Masashi Kudo (Hayate the Combat Butler! OVA 2, MAOYU) providing character designs. The team of Kento Shimoyama, Masashi Sogo, and Tsuyoshi Kida (Episodes 230 – 265) took charge of series composition.

Viz Media currently holds the rights to the Bleach anime and manga properties. They describe the series as:

For as long as he can remember, Ichigo Kurosaki has been able to see ghosts. But when he meets Rukia, a Soul Reaper who battles evil spirits known as Hollows, he finds his life is changed forever. Now, with a newfound wealth of spiritual energy, Ichigo discovers his true calling: to protect the living and the dead from evil. And when he vows to defend Rukia from the ruthless justice of the Soul Society, he and his friends must cross over and do battle in the spirit world…

Source: Yaraon! (Thanks to L.B. Bryant and Daniel Zelter for the tip!)