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Will Keanu Reeves Step Into Warner Bros. 'Akira'?

Akira, the English-language, live-action take on the landmark anime and manga property, is zeroing in on its star, and it just might be Keanu Reeves.

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Sweety85874079d ago

Well...he's a better choice than Pattz or Franco. But now im just seeing Neo as Kaneda...which is immediately followed by Ted as Kaneda which just cracks me up. "Duuuude this is like totaallly awesome!"

nagicakeumz4079d ago

LMAO! Honestly, the only movie of Keanu's I liked was the Bill and Ted trilogy. I just can't really see him playing Kaneda though.

rockleex4078d ago

I think James Franco would be a better choice.

GillHarrison4079d ago

I like Keanu Reeves, but I thought Franco was a better choice. Though I think Michael Fassbender was the best choice.

Vinushka4079d ago

... Isn't he meant to be making a Cowboy Bebop movie?

I have never seen Akira, but that'll change next month when it finally comes out on Blu ray over here. Even though I know nothing about Akira, am I the only one thinking that it should star Japanese people and not our lil sad Keanu? I don't want another Dragonball to happen. Ugh.

akiraburn4078d ago

Your statement is completely accurate Vinushka. This should be starring a full Japanese cast, considering the anime and graphic novels take place in Japan, the key characters are all Japanese, and a lot of the key aspects have to due with Japanese related content. Unfortunately, Hollywood tends to completely overlook these somewhat obvious things and generally believes that everything needs to have A-list actors, overly dramatic and constant special effects, and every other overused cliche that has become synonymous with big-budget movies nowadays.

That's not to say all Hollywood or big budget movies are bad, but the majority of the time, when they adopt foreign concepts, the results are more often disappointing and sometimes dis-respectful to the franchise. This almost assuredly be another case of just that situation, given the details we know so far.

Aside from that, I would highly recommend that if you plan on watching the English dubbing of Akira, don't bother checking out the Blu-Ray just yet, as it's missing the original English dub from 1988. It's a sad turn of events, but for whatever reason they only provided the 2001 re-dub they did, which is awful (they even pronounce words wrong, and cut some "questionable content" from the wording. For examples: Kanaeda is pronounced Canada, and references like taking pills or talking about beating guys up are actually toned down). In general, the 2001 dubbing doesn't sound natural, and it's disappointing as hell that they didn't even get the same voice cast to come back. I'd recommend checking out the 2002 DVD release that has all 3 audio tracks (original Japanese, 1988 Streamline dub, and 2001 Pioneer dub), at least until they eventually decide to include the Streamline dub into the inevitable next Blu-ray release of it.

ClimateKaren4078d ago

Thanks for saving me some typing, very well said.

I do kind of think there were a couple of things I preferred in the second English dub, or that were a little clearer, but it's subjective. I think the Kaneda pronunciation was supposed to sound more like the Japanese pronunciation, or at least that's what it seemed like to me.

Anyway, I find this "white-washing" to be pretty offensive, as well as disrespectful to the source material. I understand it's not the first time a well-respected work has been localized like this, but there is so much about this story, both subtle and direct, that relies on its setting. It will certainly lose a lot in the translation. Oh well. Hopefully it will get people to watch the anime or read the manga.

akiraburn4077d ago

Thanks for the response, and sorry for my relayed replay Fred. I personally really didn't enjoy the second dub, but that also could be due to the fact that I grew up with Akira as one of my first anime experiences, and with Cam Clarke as Kanaeda and Jan Rabson as Tetsuo they've both become something of iconic voices to the characters for me. I'm also an audio engineer/sound designer and have done some voice acting work myself, so I guess I am sometimes over-critical of things.

Not to over-analyze it, but I actually have a video I've compiled featuring tracks for the original English dub, the Pioneer Dub, and the Japanese audio, and comparing them all is interesting, and reveals some surprising things. Listening to the same scenes in each track, I personally don't think the Pioneer dub had half the emotion the other actors did. It turns out though, that for one reason or another, even on the re-release of the Streamline dub on the 2002 DVD, that dub does not feature any of the updated sound effects or music, which in many cases enhance the overall quality of the audio. So that really sucks.

Anyway, getting back on-point, you couldn't have said it better. The White-washing is all due to big studio's fearing that without well known actors and/or a primarily American cast, the movie will be received poorly. The problem there, is that these sorts of movies shouldn't being made for the general American audience who might have that sort of perspective (if that perspective was even accurate, which it really isn't). It should be made understanding that the core audience they are going to attract (like it or not) are going to be folks like us, who would gladly drop out $20 or more for a movie ticket if the movie was made with the same high-end production that Hollywood is known for, but featuring the authenticity of the manga/anime, in characters, ethnicities, controversial topics, setting, and story.

And much like you said, there is so much that relies on the setting in the story, that it's unimaginable to take it in any other direction without just taking the name Akira away and just making it another half-assed teen-angst movie, with a sci-fi twist (aka Twlight). Seriously, another perfect example of this is the Priest movie that just came out. From what I understand, it started as an adaptation from the Manhwa of Priest (which is awesome btw), about Ivan Issacs' gruesome and amazing story, but ended up a PG-13 movie with nothing to do with the original plot at all.

4079d ago Replies(1)
SRTold4079d ago

Yeah what the fuck, I heard it was taking place in new york... What the fuck? It is supposed to be Tokyo, with japanese people too, not white people like me. what the fuck

nagicakeumz4079d ago

Moving it to Manhattan isn't even the half of it. Apparently they're also making it centered around 9/11? And I agree! Asian-Americans really need a shot at making a name for themselves in the acting business.

ClimateKaren4078d ago

Seriously, there are probably so many Asian-American actors that struggle to get roles in the US because their look isn't called for in the majority of films. Sadly, most of their roles seem to be playing caricatures of racial stereotypes used to get cheap laughs. I'd imagine the Indian actor in America suffers from this as well, probably even worse.

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