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Are They Back on This Again? Really?

March 23, 2011

Well, now, in a very old post regarding live action transcoding of “anime” (in which I wondered why we even care) I reposted gossip about the death of the live action version of AKIRA that ‘Hollywoof’ is planning. It has been, in the couple of years since that piece went live, the AKIRA remake has been an on again, off again, mostly off again project.

Now it seems that someone’s agent thought the project needed some publicity and they decided to leak the names of those actors in running for the two leads. Of course, none of those actors are Japanese, or even “Asian.”

This is racism on the same level as that obnoxious UCLA student who was so annoyed at all the Asians on “our” campus.( Seriously lady, have you looked around California lately? Is it really “yours?”) And at that level, rather than retweeted ad infinitum and so on, it should be ignored.

Yes, ignored. No, I’m not really ignoring it, but I have to address it to implore you all to ignore it. Here’s why:

1) See the old post.
2) Yes, the battle for better representation for Asian actors in Hollywood must be fought. It must not be fought with this movie.
a) the movie is likely to suck.
b) even with an all Asian cast, there will be nothing of the original. Oh, all the plot points and nice explosions will be there. But how will a bunch of 30 and 40 yr old dudes express the teen rebellion against the zaibatsu controlled Japanese society kicking at the walls of the original (film and manga)? It isn’t being “white washed” as much as it is being “Hollywood washed.”
c) The film will probably end up in development Hell anyway.

As with other situations like this, The Last Airbender, for example, this is not as much an argument over things like culture as it is about working actors, Asian American actors specifically, getting jobs. We think that is a worth while thing to argue about. Rather than have Asian American actors available to participate in the thorough trashing of a fine piece of work, let’s argue for them having more appearances in romcoms, sitcoms, dramas, and the like.

Instead of Morgan Freeman being the POTUS the next time an asteroid is headed for Earth in a movie, what about B.D. Wong?

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