All Caucasian Akira Casting Short List Angers Fans

That didn't take very long at all. Fans of Japanese manga Akira are already up in arms about the report that Warner Bros. is looking to cast the film from a list of Caucasian actors that includes Robert Pattinson, Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield, Joaquin Phoenix and Michael Fassbender. Who could have seen this one coming?

Racebending -- a website which, as Moviefone points out, was launched in 2009 for the sole purpose of attacking The Last Airbender for its white-washed casting -- has created an online petition for Akira fans to sign as a way for them to express outrage at Warner Bros. for the race-inappropriate casting. The key passage:

We would like to present the numbers from this petition to the studio to show them that all media consumers -- not just Akira fans and not just Asian Americans -- support keeping casting Asian Americans in the lead roles in Akira.

Good message, but there is one slight problem: As Movieline's Brian Clark pointed out, the Akira adaptation takes place in "New Manhattan" and not the "Neo-Tokyo" of the original source, meaning perhaps Japan isn't as important to this film as one might assume. Still, if this petition gains steam, don't be surprised if Warner Bros. quickly changes those character names at the very least. Put me down for "Tuts and Dan."

· Fans Already Protesting the White-Washing of 'Akira' Cast [Moviefone]


  • Stanley says:

    Other than trivializing any arguments already put forth, you have not made any constructive counterpoints.
    #1 You call unjust and unfair casting "reality." It is a reality. So was slavery (yes, I'm taking it that far to illustrate a point for you, though it seems like I may even need crayons after this attempt), THAT was a reality. So, just because something is the way it is, it's right? No. There are things such as progression, and change.. ever heard of those? Do you still see slaves around? No. Were they a reality? Yes. What happened? Change happened. Progress happened.
    #2 "You know order for this movie to make a profit it has to sell to NON-Akira fans." The original problem was this: casting only Caucasian actors and not giving Asian American actors a chance at these roles. So, as logic dictates, you're saying that Asian American actors would not sell on the big screen. This is where you're making a HUGE assumption, and detract from the actual argument. Asian American actors don't sell and Hollywood can't take the "risk?" Bullshit. They took a chance with Chow Yun Fat, guess what, he brought in a shitload of cash. They took a chance with Jackie Chan, guess what, he brought in a shitload of cash. They had Sung Kang in Fast & Furious Tokyo Drift, guess what? He was the CROWD FAVORITE and only saving point of that movie. So your argument is null and wrong. What was the other thing you said? That there were no Asian American actors that are "big" enough to reel in that kind of cash? Guess what, none of the actors I just mentioned were "big" before they were given the chance they were given. And look at where they're at now.
    #3 You're labeling people who are pointing out a racial issue in Hollywood as racists. Just by making that claim, it really seems like you're the one here not in sync with the reality of racism. Read: racism is real.
    #4 Then you wrote a whole rant about something that has nothing to do with the original problem of casting actors based on their race that I'm going to ignore.
    People are NOT asking for them to cast ASIANS AMERS or NOT to cast CAUCASIANS, but to be fair in their casting. AND make it relevant to the original story. People in the original show are OBVIOUSLY Japanese. Why would you cast all the main JAPANESE characters as Caucasians? Then others are making a dumb ass argument that this is based in America, and that the characters are now Caucasian, then don't fucking call it Akira and market it as an Akira remake. That's like saying I'm going to do a remake of "The Godfather" and keep the original name, and cast an all Asian cast, and setting it in China.. oh and Don Vito Corleone will be Korean. Sounds right? No.

  • Akira says: