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White Man’s Akira

Don’t worry folks, even though lots of really big things in the world are going wrong, there’s still room for some very small things to go completely wrong too.

The script for the Warner Bros/Legendary Pictures live action adaptation of anime artist Katsuhiro Otomo’s 6-volume graphic novel Akira has been sent to a short list of actors… I’m told that for Tetsuo, Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy have been given the new script. For the role of Kaneda, the script has been given to Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix. The two leads are expected to come from that group of actors.

[They’re not actually going to have Robert Pattinson playing a character called Tetsuo. The Deadline link says the action has been moved from Neo-Tokyo to New Manhattan. He’ll be Theodore. Justin Timberlake will be Kevin. I guess they won’t be teenagers any more either.]

{ 6 } Comments

  1. Matt | March 24, 2011 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I’m happy with the idea of an American film based on Akira, set in America with a different ending and characters, and storyline.

    In other words, I’m happy for the Hollywood system to make a big-budget SF film, and will be intrigued to see the points where it overlaps with the Akira anime (I haven’t read the comics) but not surprised if they are few and far between.

  2. Svend | March 24, 2011 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Maybe they could have avoided criticism of The Last Airbender by shifting it to New Manhattan too.

  3. Scott A | March 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I’ve given up railing against Hollywood riding the title of books / films / comics I love.

    Easier just to accept that the titles are meaningless, and approach each as a new thing. Sometimes it can be a great new thing, sometimes not.

  4. morgue | March 25, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    My comment on this from elsewhere echoes Matt’s and Scott’s:

    Yknow, in and of itself, I actually don’t have a problem with Akira being reimagined in future America. Seven Samurai became the Magnificent Seven, after all. I’m just sick of living in a world where white guys are the only global movie stars. [Bollywood stars and Nicole Kidman excepted.]

    Svend: With M Night involved, there is no way Airbender could avoid criticism…

  5. Andrew (another one) | March 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Generally I’d say “yep”, but actually Magnificent Seven is a fucking appalling attempt at westernising a Japanese film.

  6. morgue | March 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Andrew (other): heh. I’ve never actually seen Magnificent Seven. Watched and enjoyed Seven Samurai though!