Sunday, October 19, 2014

Please step away from the casting table -- part 1

As I try to get caught up on some of the fun stuff I've missed over the past week, a little bit of movie making news caught my eye.

A few years ago, I joked with my son about how, if I was skilled enough at Photoshop, I'd get a pic of the MARVEL universe of characters and 'shop Ryan Reynolds face onto every character. Because it seemed that he was attached to every freakin' movie that was being talked about. It was ridiculous.

Also, I have several, what I refer to as my essential dvd collections of either actors, creators, or movie themes. I've got my essential John Carpenter set, my essential horror set, etc. I also have my essential anime set which includes the groundbreaking Akira and the first three Ghost in the Shell movies.

The first Ghost movie is the one I used to introduce my son to anime -- the amazing detail and beauty of hand-drawn animation in the Japanese anime style. It's as beautiful as the old 7-panel Disney stuff of the golden era of animation in this country.

With that being said, I saw that there is a live-action version of Ghost in the Shell in the planning stages. And being talked about for portrayal of the main character, Major Motoko Kusanagi is . . . wait for it . . . Scarlett Johanssen. Of course. Because apparently once you've cast ScarJo in a bodysuit/action/superhero role, she's pretty much the go to actress for every other role that comes up.

scarlett johanssen nude

Look, I've got no beef with Johanssen, I like her unconventional beauty, but let's face it, she's a bit stumpy looking. Not at all like the lithe Maj. Kusanagi of the Ghost anime. And you can die anyone's hair black and give them that asymmetrical bob cut. Scarlett's got the boobs for the role and that's about it imho.

Some years back, movie producers took a deserved amount of heat for casting Joel Grey as Chun in the Remo Williams movie. They had to put about 10 pounds of make-up on Grey to make him appear sort of Korean, and he did a decent job with the character giving it his own touches. How would it have been with an actual Asian actor? Who can say. But I find it hard to believe that casting directors couldn't find an Asian actor for the role and ended up settling on Grey.

In the case of Kusanagi, there is a wealth of young, talented actresses available who could bring some authentic ethnicity to the role. Not even a remotely exhaustive list, but here's the first four that came to mind when I decided to write about this:

Devon Aoki

devon aoki nude

Jaime Chung

Maggie Q

Ziyi Zhang

And that doesn't even include others like Summer Glau who could add a different look to the Major's character if producers wanted to go another way. Point is, come on guys . . . give someone else a chance to work. How about it?


Tuerqas said...

I am not a connoisseur, but my favorite anime series is still the Kenshin series.

postaldog said...

I'm not familiar with that one. And I don't consider myself a connoisseur either. I stumbled across the first Ghost movie and was captivated by it.

Like American animation, there's a lot of cheap crap in anime, but when they get it right . . . wow, it's amazing!