So Warner Bros. wants to do the film Akira, the popular manga by Katsuhiro Otomo. However there is a HUGE problem.
The movie news site Deadline has posted what it said are "short lists" of actors who were given the script for the live-action remake of Katsuhiro Otomo's manga Akira. According to the site, the actors being considered for Kaneda are:
* Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy's Sam Flynn)
* Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class's Magneto)
* Chris Pine (Star Trek's James Kirk)
* Justin Timberlake (The Social Network's Sean Parker)
* Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line's Johnny Cash)
According to Deadline, the actors being considered for Tetsuo are:
* Robert Pattinson (Twilight's Edward)
* Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man's Peter Parker)
* James McAvoy (X-Men: First Class's Charles Xavier)
Warner Bros. had not responded to ANN's request for comment at press time.
Warner Bros. and Leonardo Dicaprio's Appian Way revealed in 2008 that they had acquired the rights to adapt Akira into a live-action Hollywood film, with Gary Whitta later attached to write the script. Since then, Book of Eli co-director Albert Hughes and Harry Potter scriptwriter Steve Kloves have been brought on to the project.
DiCaprio had stated that he would produce the film (along with the live-action adaptation of Yoshiaki Kawajiri's anime Ninja Scroll), but would not act in it. Last year, a representative for Hughes and his brother Allen Hughes dismissed reports that Zac Efron would be starring in Akira.
This is a old article from Anime News Network. But the main problem is not only the huge age difference (the characters were teens in this movie), but in the US version they are caucasian. This has caused quite a stir in the Anime/Asian community. For anime fans, its a whitewash. Mostly white actors playing asian characters and changing their names to appeal to the U.S.
George Takei has stepped in and told Warner Brothers to do the right thing and not to make this movie.
George Takei: It’s not a surprise because that’s been a Hollywood tradition. For example, when I was very young, I read Pearl Buck’s epic novel of China, The Good Earth. And that film, all of the principal major roles were cast with Caucasians. As a matter of fact, Luise Rainer, who played the wife, won an Oscar for that. Paul Muni was her husband. It’s an old Hollywood tradition that we’ve always been battling, not just Hollywood but Broadway too, if you remember Miss Saigon and the furor over that. So, no, I really wasn’t surprised, but the audience has changed now, and I’m surprised Warner Bros. is not keeping up with the audience. The manga and anime phenomenon is mostly white in this country. It originated in Japan, and, of course, it has a huge Asian fan following. But it’s the multi-ethnic Americans who are fans of Akira and manga. The idea of buying the rights to do that and in fact change it seems rather pointless. If they’re going to do that, why don’t they do something original, because what they do is offend Asians, number 1; number 2, they offend the fans. The same thing happened with M. Night Shyamalan. He cast his project [The Last Airbender] with non-Asians and it’s an Asian story, and the film flopped. I should think that they would learn from that, but I guess big studios go by rote, and the tradition in Hollywood has always been to buy a project, change it completely and flop with it. I think it’s pointless, so I thought I would save Warner Bros. a bit of failure by warning them of what will most likely happen if they continue in that vein.
Here's more from Mr. Sulu
So what's your take on this controversy? But lets keep it civil with no flameouts. I will monitor this topic. Lets have a healthy discussion about this and tell me how you feel about this sensitive subject.