If you answered yes, then how will you feel about watching a movie filled with white guys with such distinctively Japanese names as Akira, Tetsuo and Kaneda?
If your first thought is "Hmmm, that sounds kinda f*cked up", then welcome to the club.
|How white will Akira be? This white.|
Obviously someone at Warner Brothers watched Akira and loved it, except for the fact that it's just too, well, Japanese.
This version of Akira is apparently going to be set in Neo-Manhattan rather than Neo-Tokyo, yet they are keeping the Japanese names. You'd think then, that it would be a perfect opportunity to use some Asian-American talent. Or even Asian-Asian talent (ie. Korean star Rain). Wrong.
Of course, the obvious defence of Hollywood is this: "Where are the Asian male leads who could carry these roles? There are simply none with the profile of Pattinson and so on."
Which makes sense... except that it begs the question: "Why not?"
If there are no Asian-American male actors famous enough to carry this movie, it's because Hollywood has not given them the chance. Was Pattinson a star before Twilight? No. And the other names on the list, with the exceptions of Phoenix and Timberlake, are hardly household names anyway.
But as you probably well know, it's just Hollywood doing as Hollywood does, continuing a tradition that includes 21, The Last Airbender, and Dragonball Z.
(Hat tip: Racebending, via BigWOWO)
UPDATE (27th March):
Thai-American playwright and performer Prince Gomolvilas has this video up that captures this issue quite brilliantly. Check it: