With an All-Caucasian Akira Short List, How Will Hollywood Americanize the Characters' Names?
Get ready for some more Last Airbender-style controversy! Deadline has posted an alleged short list of actors competing for the leads in the adaptation of the beloved Japanese Manga and Anime Akira and... they are all white. Yes, a group of Hollywood's hottest Caucasian actors are all competing for the roles of Tetsuo and Kaneda. But if they're really going this route, those names are going to have to change... right?
As of now, scripts are apparently out to Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy for the role of Tetsuo, and Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix for the role of Kaneda. Fans are probably already a little irked not only by the race issue, but by the fact that almost all of these actors are way older than the characters in the original Manga. Also, many are probably dreading the day they see posters for Akira, starring Robert Pattinson and Justin Timberlake.
Sure, it's another predictable and safe decision on Hollywood's part, which is always a little disappointing. But the fact that the remake changes the setting from "Neo-Tokyo" to "New Manhattan" already signaled this direction, and it's really not too different from what Hollywood already does with every other foreign remake.
But still, Robert Pattinson as Tetsuo? Keeping the original names of the characters while casting totally white actors would be like spitting in the face of those who are already outraged. But will Hollywood still attempt to "pay homage" to the original names in spite of the fact that they are changing everything else? If so, it's going to be a bit difficult. Nonetheless, here are some guesses as to how they might Americanize the existing names. Feel free to post your own. As you can see, partial anagrams are acceptable.
Ted and Ken
Stet and Dek
It's the future! Who knows what people are named in New Manhattan!
Stet and Net
Tuts and Dan
If they don't go with this combo, I propose someone make a wacky buddy comedy with the same title.
Mr. T and Mr. K
This might still be a problem because of the controversy that will surely ensue over a white actor playing the role of Mr. T.
Tetsuo Jones and Kaneda Smith
Each had liberal, bourgeois parents who lived in Japan for a while.
Iron Husband and Golden Rice Field
According to the internet, these are the meanings of each Japanese family name. If anyone has more expertise in Japanese than the website I consulted, feel free to correct me. Anyway, since motorcycle gangs are involved here, nicknames are probably allowed.