Here’s Something To ACTUALLY Get Angry About

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:

Akira Actors

Actors Hollywood is courting to play the lead roles in a live-action adaptation of Akira.

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…)

Harry Shum, Jr.

How about it? Tetsuo? Kaneda? I know he's not Japanese, but still...he's cute!

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?

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15 Responses to Here’s Something To ACTUALLY Get Angry About

  1. Samantha 23 Mar 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Okay that is truly terrible, and best tweet ever to sum it all up!

  2. Samantha 23 Mar 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    John Cho, cute and well know enough…might be too old now though.

  3. ello 23 Mar 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    You know how I feel. I’m still in my timeout box because of inappropriate language. When I’m calm, I may post myself. Or I may not.

  4. M 23 Mar 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    Ian Anthony Dale (Japanese American)
    Yuya Yagira (Japanese but can’t speak English well)
    Will Sharpe (British Japanese)
    Derek Mio (Japanese American)
    Steve Yeun from The Walking Dead (Chinese American)
    Jason Tobin (British Chinese)
    Aaron Yoo (Korean American)

    I’m not wild about Edison Chen (Chinese Canadian) but at least an improvement on Pattinson and Timberlake.

    Daniel Henney is lovely but rather wooden, no? Wah, am I going to die?

    • JJ 23 Mar 2011 at 2:07 pm #

      Nah. I don’t think much of his acting skills either. But that’s okay…he provides EXCELLENT eye candy. :)

  5. Lori M. Lee 23 Mar 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    WHAT?! Noooooo, THIS IS SO WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS. OMFG HOLLYWOOD.

    Okay okay. *deep breaths* Some awesome male Asian actors:
    Takeshi Kaneshiro
    Daniel Henney
    Justin Chon
    John Cho
    Vanness Wu

  6. Bethany 23 Mar 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    “Who wants to bet Hollywood will try to appease the Asians by casting Asian actors as villains or sidekicks?” So sad. So going to happen.

    And oh my WORD, can I second Takeshi Kaneshiro?!?! *ded*

  7. Elizabeth 23 Mar 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    I put my suggestion for Jay Chou. He’s not great at English still, but he’s coming off of playing Kato for Green Hornet.

  8. Remilda Graystone 23 Mar 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    What about the semi-actor Jung Ji-Hoon? He was really good to look at, at the very least. Or Daniel Dae Kim? Jack Yang?

    And I agree with what you said. Dragonball Z? Oh my God. The Last Airbender? Oh my God! I could rant about those two and how much they sucked all day, that’s how mad it makes me! It pissed me off that much. Avatar is a huge favorite in this house, and I grew up watching Dragonball Z.

    Ugh. What a disgrace.

    What makes me the maddest about The Last Airbender is that it was directed by an ASIAN! How could you do that, M. Night???

    And um…Harry Shum… When he has his shirt off, I cannot speak.

  9. Remilda Graystone 23 Mar 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    Darn it, darn it, darn it!

    *facepalm!*

    I came to your post from Natalie Whipple’s blog and then read Malinda’s article and then read yours about Jennifer Lawrence being cast as Katniss and then finally read this one, and, obviously, I got confused along the way. All the words and opinions became jumbled.

    Sorry about that. I just realized you weren’t the one talking about The Last Airbender or Dragonball.

    Sorry again. Ugh. Again.

  10. kristin 23 Mar 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    James Kyson Lee, perhaps? He managed to survive “Heroes” with dignity and a wide fanbase for his character, so I think he can probably do anything.

    Also, Sung Kang or John Cho as Kaneda would have me preordering my movie ticket NOW. I actually sort of don’t care if they’re too old. At all.

  11. Ivy 24 Mar 2011 at 9:39 am #

    John Cho? Daniel Henney? Looks like it’s another Dragonball nightmare again. :(

  12. Marissa Meyer 25 Mar 2011 at 10:43 am #

    Another great post! I LOVE Harry Shum, Jr., in Glee and would love to see him in a starring role. If my book ever becomes a movie (a girl can dream, right?), he has my vote for my hero all the way. ^^

  13. taxi insurance 14 Dec 2011 at 6:30 am #

    Dear Chuck and Ashley, It thrills my heat to know that you will be Youth Pastor and counseling.

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