Yesterday we discussed the casting of Jennifer Lawrence in a role that could have gone to a person of color. Today I would like to direct your attention to something far worse:
For those of you who don’t know, Akira was a cult film based on a manga about a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future society. They are making a live-action version of it. With apparently only white people. Named Tetsuo and Kaneda.
White people. Named Tetsuo and Kaneda.
For the love of God, why? Look, I get remakes. I get it when a foreign film gets remade into an American one. Usually they’re bland and not nearly as good as the original because much of the cultural nuance gets lost in translation (Shall We Dance for example). Or they’re just BAD. (Please see: the remake of Godzilla.)
They’ve changed the setting of the movie from Neo-Tokyo to Neo-Manhattan. Fine. American audiences don’t care about cities abroad. But if you’re going to “American-ize” an entire movie, why not change it? Why not rename it? Why keep Japanese names? Akira, Tetsuo, Kaneda? And call it Akira: Not Really?
Who wants to bet Hollywood will try to appease the Asians by casting Asian actors as villains or sidekicks?
Ugh. I’m too offended to even continue ranting.
ROBERT PATTINSON as TETSUO???? Aw hell no. GTFO of my cult classic, sparklepire.
Edit: I should say, I am not opposed to mixed race casting the leads. If Tetsuo is Asian and Kaneda is not (or vice versa), fine. You could have Ted and Kane. How about one of them being Latino? Or black? I could get behind that. Just as long as there’s a non-white protagonist in there. Protagonist, please. Not sidekick, not villain, not redshirt. Thanks.
Here’s a casting suggestion, Hollywood! How about Harry Shum, Jr.? Young-ish and actually looks closer to being a sullen teenager than Joaquin Phoenix or Michael Fassbender (as much as I love both actors–well, Joaquin’s a bit out there but…)
Here’s a call to action! Why don’t you suggest to me hot Asian (or other men of color) actors who could possibly play the leads?