6.01.2011

Akira, Revisited

I have to interrupt our exploration of the Southeast to rub my temples and long for a shot of bourbon. Keanu-friggin'-Reeves was briefly considered for - and he himself considered - the role of Kaneda in the upcoming trainwreck-to-be Akira.

Instead of bursting a blood vessel over that moment of obvious fail, I'm just going to throw out a few names really quickly:

Sotaro Yasuda

Hokuto "Hok" Konishi

Shin Koyamada

Steve Terada

Kevin "KevNish" Nishimura

Derek Mio

Brian Hirano

Now, what do these gents all have in common?

Aside for their Japanese heritage, they're all either U.S.-born and/or U.S.-based artists.  As in...they're just one call away.  As in...the very definition of "easy access."  So why have none of them gotten so much as a text?

Now is a more than perfect time to let some of these guys represent their ancestral homeland by starring in one of the greatest popular works to ever come out of Japan...and none of them are so much as getting a friendly email?

I found these names in a matter of minutes.  Some of them I already knew by heart and simply needed a good image to go with them.  You're telling me that Warner Bros., with all their money, and all their other resources, couldn't pause for twenty seconds to consider any of these guys?

It's not like they aren't famous or don't have a following.  We know these guys.  We would pay money to see them on the big screen.  We'd kill to seem shirtless, lounging in a shower for no goddamn reason.  And it's not like they'd turn down a role in a big budget film; all of them are in shape and at least half of them are either skilled dancers or martial artists, ergo an action film would be right up their alley.  So what exactly is the problem?  Why is "1 + 1" suddenly so difficult for Warner Bros. to figure out?

God, Derek Mio is a beautiful man.

18 comments:

  1. Konishi would make a very convincing Tetsuo in my opinion. He has the look down to a T. And I vote Koyamada for Kaneda. The look on his face in that picture makes me think of Kaneda.

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  2. LOL...Hok would be a great Tetsuo.

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  3. Perfect Tetsuo:
    http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Koike_Teppei

    tell me that he don't fit the part

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  4. Hollywood? Going for accuracy by putting actual, honest-to-goodness POC in lead roles? In a blockbuster?

    What are you on, crack?! XD Look at the stink raised by who they cast for Katniss in The Hunger Games. "Have a POC character, but don't want a POC actor? Get BrownON(TM)! Just spray 'em and dye 'em and you have an exotic ethnic in no time! Operators are standing by."

    People were upset, but me? It's sad to say, but I just went,"Gee, what else is new." >_> But back to Fauxkira - if they had cast any/every last one of these guys, I wouldn't even mind paying the jacked prices for movie tickets.

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  5. I'm with leoprincess.

    Now why didn't I have that pic of Shin earlier? That's JORDAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. I watched Wendy Wu for Shin, lol. He didn't disappoint.

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  7. @leoprincess-I'm not surprised Hollywood didn't consider any of these FIONE Japanese men for the role. Upset beyond reason? YES. But, foolishness is expected coming from Hollywood.
    @julie-Shin is WHY Wendy Wu is my FAVORITE Disney Channel movie! He's the ONLY reason I keep my eyes glued to the screen without feeling 13 years old again.

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  8. @Ankhesen
    You're telling me that Warner Bros., with all their money, and all their other resources, couldn't pause for twenty seconds to consider any of these guys?

    Though I was trying to refrain from saying this, it's better that we all understand the situation. In order for Hollywood to recoup the inevitable losses from this project, they're going to need that $100 million dollars from the Japanese audience. There's one problem though. These Japanese are not going to spend that amount of money on these Japanese guys. Even Teppei doesn't have this draw. Because Keanu is acceptable as "misemono" (something to look at) in this nation, casting him for this audience wasn't a completely bad idea. Otherwise, they need to cast high profile and ridiculously fine Japanese or better still, Korean guys while they're still in fashion. Right now, Koreans are the FAD. Warner Bros. is also advised against allowing hyphenated Americans to speak Japanese. For the masses, it'll sound like someone raking their nails on the chalkboard.

    The best thing for Warner Bros. to do is to scratch this entire project and accept that TOHO screwed them over and took their cash.

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  9. In order for Hollywood to recoup the inevitable losses from this project, they're going to need that $100 million dollars from the Japanese audience.

    That's the part which keeps throwing me. I don't think they're even factoring in the Japanese audience. After all, the story's being set in Neo-Manhattan, not Neo-Tokyo, and the film will be in English.

    Warner Bros. likes the make films for white American audiences. But if they were to focus strictly on the American audience - not just the white ones - then these guys would actually be great.

    The best thing for Warner Bros. to do is to scratch this entire project and accept that TOHO screwed them over and took their cash.

    This is the ultimate punchline of course. They're not going to get Avatar or Pirates of the Carribbean money from this project. If they stick with the white cast, (and they most likely will) they'll be looking at some Dragonball Z money, and venomous shade from every corner of the blogosphere. If they cast guys like these, they might get Ninja Assassin-level money.

    Now...if they were to swallow their pride, re-set the film in Neo-Tokyo, cast a tribe of chiseled Korean hunks, and rewrite the script in Japanese, they could probably set a new world box office record and recharge the entire fanfiction universe.

    But alas...it shall not be.

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  10. @Ankhesen

    That's the part which keeps throwing me. I don't think they're even factoring in the Japanese audience. After all, the story's being set in Neo-Manhattan, not Neo-Tokyo, and the film will be in English.


    There's an evil in this world called Warner Bros. Japan. Its sole purpose is to bring "OTHER," under the guise of "diversity," to the Japanese people. They're so damned good at this, I don't think Hollywood has been able to manufacture a blockbuster over the last 20 years without this specific audience. Granted this is a small, yet extremely cash friendly group of people, who pay up even in tough economic times for various reasons.

    Unlike POC in American, the Japanese do not lack for Japanese dramas, Japanese plays, Japanese movies or Japanese movies. Japanese-ness is abound and they don't need to be seen on "white" screens for validation. They basically want to be entertained by "OTHERS."

    The Japanese also get the added bonus of once again knowing that "white" writers in America can't create a damn thing without mining their culture. In Hollywood, "international" means "Japan." And these seekers of OTHER entertainment don't want to see Neo-Tokyo in a Hollywood production. They want to see Neo-American/Neo-foreign city and they positively don't want any foreign born people destroying the Japanese language, like every single pseudo-Japanese person in Heroes. *nails raking a chalkboard*

    In Japan, true fans of Akira won't watch any live action version of this epic; hence, this isn't even a topic for debate. It'll just be another Hollywood debacle that will fall into the category of no harm/ no foul. In their eyes, Akira is already in its perfect state.

    It's painful to face, but American POC are waging this battle of attrition alone. Somehow, someway, we need to forge our own path.

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  11. "The Japanese also get the added bonus of once again knowing that "white" writers in America can't create a damn thing without mining their culture."

    Ring, Grudge, One Last Call, that one where the ghost possesses a camera and that so-so one with Jessica Alba...yup, pretty much.

    "It's painful to face, but American POC are waging this battle of attrition alone. Somehow, someway, we need to forge our own path."

    ^THIS. I'd like to expand that to include POC in the West, in general.

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  12. @Peta-Ann

    Don't forget the entire Star Trek universe. They didn't just take the concept of the samurai for one group of aliens, they took almost everything they could understand, which wasn't much, thank goodness.

    I'd like to expand that to include POC in the West, in general.

    True that. ALL POC in the West need to stop allowing them to occupy so much of our internal space and move along. You're an illustrator? Graphic Artist? Cool! Please don't disappear on us. If we can gather enough talented people like you, we could probably make some serious progress in selling ourselves visually.

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    Replies
    1. Too bad companies don't like to accept the work of poc. If there was more poc ALLOWED to really work, and I don't mean sharpening pencils for the guy in the cubicle, There might be some really good stuff

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  13. Don't worry, Hateya. I'm always here, even if I don't always use this ID. ;)

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  14. @ Ank:

    Sorry about that. Should have responded to the other post.

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