Zac Efron to star in 'Akira'? Noooooo!

Oh, hell no. Zac Efron is going to play the lead in the Akira remake? That's what they're saying:

Zac Efron 'to play lead in Akira remake'.

We've known that there's been a live-action Akira adaptation in the works for a while. We've also known that the Hollywood remake of the cult anime feature would be set in "New Manhattan" -- not Neo Tokyo. And knowing how things work, it was likely that the movie's characters would not be Japanese (thanks again, Hollywood). But this bit of casting news just... hurts.

Slash Film reports a rumor that Zac Efron has been offered the lead role in "Akira," the upcoming live-action adaptation of the manga series from "The Book of Eli" director Albert Hughes. The report itself strongly underlines that this is just a rumor for now, and we'll echo their sentiment: don't take Efron's casting as gospel.

But if Efron is taking the lead role in "Akira," it's almost certainly for the part of Shotaro Kaneda, the young leader of a motorcycle gang called The Capsules. He's best friends with Tetsuo, a troubled youth with undiscovered psychic powers. Once Tetsuo taps into his destructive telepathic abilities, he becomes drunk with power, forcing Kaneda to lead the charge against his very best friend.

Like I said, nobody should really be shocked that Kaneda, Tetsuo and the rest of the gang will probably be replaced by characters with, as they say, names that are easier to pronounce. Which is a nice way of saying not-so-yellow.

It's the Hollywood Whitewash, baby. Business as usual. Because hey, it would just be ridiculous to imagine any Asians existing in America's post-apocalyptic future. And certainly not as lead characters in the narrative! Don't be ridiculous. We get stoic, supporting side character, at best.

I was already resigned to accept the many inevitable disappointing realities of the Hollywood Akira remake. But Zac Efron? Zac Freaking Efron? Star of High School Musicals 1 through 3! As Kaneda (or whatever the hell they're going to name him). That makes me sad. I am sad.

More here: Zac Efron Rumored For 'Akira' Adaptation.

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