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5 Urgent Questions About the Live Action 'Akira' Remake

Robert Brockway writes, "Now, here are three facts that simply should not be: They're making a live action version. They're changing the location from Tokyo to New York. And they're recasting it with all white people. Not just any old white people, either. No, Akira, that quintessentially Japanese classic, is being recast with the whitest white people this side of a Mint Julep. Here's the latest casting announcements for the two leads:

Kaneda: Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake or Joaquin Phoenix

Tetsuo (now, no shit, changed to "Travis"): Andrew Garfield, Robert Pattinson or James McAvoy

And this brings up a vital and urgent question: Why?

Actually, it brings up several vital and urgent questions, though to be fair, most of them are just the word "why" with varying degrees of capitalization, exclamation, and with different synonyms for "motherfucker" appending them."

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Reibooi2033d ago (Edited 2033d ago )

hmmm lets see if I can tackle this one by one.

#5Why change the location of a movie whose central theme is how fucked up it is to be Japanese?

I HIGHLY disagree this is the central theme of the movie. The central theme at least in my opinion is 2 friends who grew up as brothers growing apart in various ways and how in the end they still are close and this results in the final confrontation. Kaneda doesn't want to kill Tetsuo out of anger in fact he never wanted to kill him to just ends up that way. I would say the main theme is Friendship and Brotherhood. Although this can be highly debated because of the myriad of themes in Akira and one could easily make the argument that any of those themes is the central one.

#4Why did you think a race change was even necessary?

This is Hollywood we are talking about here. If the characters are not white they don't think the general population will be able to relate to them and thus the movie will not do well. This is why adaptions of properties from all over the world never keep the races of the characters the same. Dragon Ball was a good example of this. There are VERY few adaptations which keep all races the same. This is just the way things in Hollywood work despite it being a known fact that the general population can handle and even loves Asian actors such as Jet-Li and Jackie Chan and many others as well.

#3Why the switch to live action?

Quite simply they won't do anything else. Redoing Akira in animated form would never work as there is no US animation studio that could do it and there are no Japanese animation studios that think it's needed as the movie still holds up fine today(with maybe the exception of the very 80's looking design however that isn't really a bad thing). Yes it's true that there is a large market for animation in the US but said market is largely aimed at children. The Oscars reflect this as every movie that wins the category is for kids and those that aren't get snubbed(like Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through time as well as the countless Miyazaki movies that deserved it more then Sprited Away) With that being said there is no way a animated remake of the movie would work as it would likely be rated R and never get people into the theater to see it.

#2Why the age change?

Again this is just because it's Hollywood. They want to rely on big names instead of those who might be better for the film. There are not many big names that are young enough to convincingly play the characters and Hollywood doesn't like to bother scouting new talent at all. Despite incredible performances from some recent movies such as Hailee Steinfeld who played Mattie in True Grit who was in my opinion better then any of the bigger names in the movie and if I recall correctly she was only 14 at the time of the shoot for that film.

#1 what could it possibly be about now?

Anyone who thought the original Akira's plot would make it to a film in any way that resembled the original is quite simply living in a dream. It's not a exaggeration to say that most Hollywood adaptations are basically just the names of the characters in events that very vaguely resemble the original. I would be willing to bet that nearly every Iconic scene in the original movie will not be in this live action remake with maybe the exception of the city being vaporized in the opening sequence. Simply put most of the scenes will not make it because they will either not have the budget to re create them or they will simply think people will not understand them. I fully expect the movie to turn into a generic people with super powers movie then be anywhere near a accurate adaptation of the original.