Criticizes the choice of actors for the lead role, rips Warner Bros.
Well known Asian-American actor George Takei has spurned a barrage of comments regarding the upcoming remake of the 1988 Anime Film Akira, which he said that it was a failure to cast white actors in the lead roles.
Takei, who portrayed as Sulu in the original Star Trek series, lambasted the producers in a press conference made at the Pacific Media Expo 2011 about their casting ideas for the said movie, which is due to start it’s shoot sometime in 2012.
“They announced their casting ideas… they were talking about people like Justin Timberlake” Takei said.
It was reported before that the lead role is rumored to be given to TRON: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund, while Justin Timberlake and Robert Pattinson were also being considered for the roles.
He noticed that the producers is going to use Caucasian actors instead of hiring Asian-Americans, which he hoped that would make the story more believable by sticking it with the original.
“They were casting it all with white actors…. If they want a big change…. they should start with a clean slate, have a whole new story, Why buy Akira (and) change it completely” Takei stressed.
He added that “There was a great wave of criticism and protest at the approach, They [Warner] retreated on that.”
He expressed that he knew about the news of the remake from social media, and that he thought Warner Bros., the studio who will produce the film, have learned from the past mistakes of The Last Airbender, which is a film remake of the Nickelodeon series “Avatar: The Legend of Aang” which featured non-Asian actors.
“You use what we have now…. Twitter, Facebook, and so forth and so the word spread like wildfire, and Warner Bros. retreated on that.
And we thought they have learned on that…. and they are still insisting on going the same route.” Takei said
He lamented that Hollywood was not making “some progress” in the selection of the actors of some projects, and that Akira is one of those projects that could be moving backward.
Finally, he convinced his audience to push for more changes to make Akira more consistent. He did not elaborate much but it should be remembered that Takei has been pushing for an Asian to lead the Katsuhiro Otomo-directed classic.
“We have to keep on pressing, keep on pushing…. They have the right to do something different, if that’s their concept, but don’t publicize it as Akira, I paid tons of money to buy the rights when they’re gonna change it anyway…. Put that money in the production itself, rather than buying something and changing it, I think the struggle continues…” Takei ended.
Below is the video of George Takei during Pacific Media Expo 2011.
SOURCE: Crunchyroll News
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