Just In Case Airbender Wasn’t Bad Enough

From Racebending.com:

Hollywood is adapting the classic manga and anime AKIRA to the silver screen. Given the current lack of lead roles for actors of color in the science fiction genre, the complex characters of AKIRA would be a great opportunity for Asian American actors. Will directors Albert and Allen Hughes cast Asian American actors to play the iconic roles of Kaneda and Tetsuo?

The latest draft script for Akira is reportedly set in “Neo-Manhattan” instead of Neo-Tokyo. Given the prominence and popularity of the original Akira, we know fans will be closely following the development of this Warner Bros. production. On March 22nd, 2011, Deadline.com reported that eight actors have been invited to audition–all of the actors are white.

FAQ about Akira from Racebending.com

One would think that after The Last Airbender caused so much controversy and did a lot worse than the makers were expecting, this wouldn’t happen again. Not only are they removing the original setting, which I assume is to make it more “relatable” [insert *side-eye* here] or whatever BS they want to feed us, they are keeping the japanese names all the while buzzing for white actors to get involved with the project.

Yet again, Hollywood targets the young white male demographic and takes it even further by shamelessly appropriating a culture for entertainment purposes. Go you, Hollywood! Go you.

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2 Responses to Just In Case Airbender Wasn’t Bad Enough

  1. ennetee says:

    I do not get it. They have a built in very loyal fanbase and they kinda well, excuse me…but from what I see, piss on it.

    I’ve been told that “The Last Airbender” (the cartoon) would be right up my alley, so I have it on my my never ending list of things to see…

    “Akira”, isn’t it Tokyo/Japan specific account of a post-atomic holocaust society? Wouldn’t that be an interesting and unique participation & inclusion into post-apocalyptic films, adding to the various voices –many of them about the United States already?

    Why re-do something into a live version if it’s not truly inspired by the anime? Isn’t a POV going to be watered down and made moot by generalizing the story?
    If a story about some people fighting to survive in the middle of post-atomic attacks nowhere Kansas, can be made to feel universal, can’t some people surviving in post-atomic holocaust Tokyo, also appeal to just as wide, and wider audience?

    • You should definitely watch A:TLA (the cartoon, of course). It’s wonderful- the second season on, especially. As for your point on uniqueness, I suppose we should all settle down to the fact that Hollywood wouldn’t know uniquely interesting if it smacked them in the face.

      It’s that old “relatability” lie all over again.

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