The long-rumored live-action Hollywood remake of the 1988 Japanese Anime film Akira is beginning to take shape, and the actors on the short list for the two lead roles — Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, and Joaquin Phoenix — all have onnnne tiny thing in common: They’re all somewhat not Japanese:
The film would take place in “Neo-New York” instead of Neo Tokyo, but the main characters would retain their original names, Shotaro Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima. This wouldn’t be the first time Hollywood has de-Asianized a project, and frankly, it was kind of predictable.
How predictable? Three years ago, a 90-second animated parody called The American Akira hit the ‘netwebz and got over 1 million views, and it turns out, this parody pretty much exactly predicted the direction this film was headed (video after the jump):
One one hand, Hollywood probably is correct that grabbing one of those big names over a lesser-known actor of Japanese descent will greatly help Akira at the box office, but on the other hand, is the long-overdue casting an Asian actor in a blockbuster (Japanese) movie really a bigger roll of the dice than relying on Joaquin Phoenix?? They just better not mess up the big prom scene from the video.