[LAEM] It's all up in the air

The place for all of the old Live Action Evangelion Movie threads.
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Postby Seele00TextOnly » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:26 am

Huh, I was going off stuff I'd remembered hearing. Shoulda looked it up first. Okay, I guess that was based on some data projections or something. Honestly I'm shocked to see the number that high. Either way, the global market is ever more important and certainly there it's not majority white. And again, there's just not sufficient reason to do it so consistently; it's downright offensive and condescending.
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Postby Legendary » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:39 am

More importantly, the casting of voice actors isn't nearly the same as the casting of physical actors. With one, anyone capable of sounding right for the part can do it. With the other, skin tone is often taken into consideration. Honestly, I don't care too much if we have a lot of movies with white heroes (though it grates that usually the black guys are mystical negros (using the tvtropes term, plz don't take that the wrong way) or wacky sidekicks), but it does seem odd since there's no reason that white men would be universally better at the part.

I do object to stuff like what went down in Airbender strongly however, and it does matter because they went through all the effort with every non-heroic main character, but didn't want to use the right ethnicities with the people who'd be on screen the most.

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Postby Tarnsman » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:46 am

View Original PostSeele00TextOnly wrote:Huh, I was going off stuff I'd remembered hearing. Shoulda looked it up first. Okay, I guess that was based on some data projections or something. Honestly I'm shocked to see the number that high. Either way, the global market is ever more important and certainly there it's not majority white. And again, there's just not sufficient reason to do it so consistently; it's downright offensive and condescending.


America casting American actors to play roles in an American film? SHOCK!

The core themes of Evangelion can still be expressed with any nationality, I know people like to talk about how "Japanese" Eva is, but at its core it's pretty universal in its message. Humanity as a whole isn't as culturally different as people like to bitch about, the differences are in semantics, not core aspects. As such, the characters nationalities really don't affect the point of the work. They're Japanese because the target audience was Japanese, if Anno was trying to make a work for Americans (which I have no idea why he would) I can guarantee the characters would have been American. Furthermore, people don't seem to understand the point of an adaptation. Look at True Grit. The remake is pretty much 95% the same in terms of narrative, but is also drastically different from the original. That's what we should be asking for if we have to get a live-action adaptation (which we shouldn't, I would prefer if Hollywood just left it alone). I don't want to see Evangelion copy and pasted into a live action movie, it would be completely pointless.

There are many things wrong with Hollywood's adaptations, but nationality is so far down on that list, no one has the right to complain about it.

Edit: @Legendary - Of all the problems in The Last Airbender, it wasn't that they changed the nationality of the main characters, it was that they got people who couldn't act to save their lives to play them. If they had gotten decent actors, they could have been from Mars for all I care.
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Postby Seele00TextOnly » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:52 am

I'm sorry but I don't get your talk of nationality and 'American'. There's plenty of great Japanese American actors I'm sure who could handle these roles excellently. They probably rarely get main parts though because most big roles are cast to white folks. I thought we were having a racial discussion, not a nationality one. And yes, moving locations from Tokyo to New York is also stupid.
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Postby Legendary » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:56 am

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:Of all the problems in The Last Airbender, it wasn't that they changed the nationality of the main characters, it was that they got people who couldn't act to save their lives to play them. If they had gotten decent actors, they could have been from Mars for all I care.


Actually, the problem seems to be that the script is entirely too... bleh... to be any good regardless of actor. Seriously. Those lines are terrible.

But that isn't the point. They go through all the effort to create verisimilitude until it comes time to make the main cast, and then ONLY white people are considered, which defeats the point of the verisimilitude anyway. That's the whitewashing people object to. It's bad sense in a couple different ways.

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Postby Tarnsman » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:04 am

View Original PostSeele00TextOnly wrote:I'm sorry but I don't get your talk of nationality and 'American'. There's plenty of great Japanese American actors I'm sure who could handle these roles excellently. They probably rarely get main parts though because most big roles are cast to white folks. I thought we were having a racial discussion, not a nationality one. And yes, moving locations from Tokyo to New York is fucking stupid.


Name them. Also, find me great Japanese American child actors for the younger roles. The reason why most big roles are cast to "white folks" is because the majority of the country is White! Why don't you complain that Korean actors aren't given more lead roles in Japanese productions? There are Koreans living in Japan.

As for New York instead of Tokyo? Who cares!? I sure as hell don't. I'm more concerned with Hollywood changing it into a shitty disaster movie and butchering the characters' personalities, than I am with where it takes place and what race/nationality the characters are.

There is a place and time to complain about whitewashing. If Letters from Iwo Jima had all the Japanese soldiers played by White Americans, that would be something you could legitimately complain about. We're talking about an adaptation however. Why don't you bitch about how the actors in A Fistful of Dollars were for the most part Italian and the setting was no longer in Japan? After all, it was a unofficial remake of Yojimbo.

Edit: @Legendary
- Yes, it was more retarded in that case, but I don't think that the leads being white would have mattered if the movie was a great film. It would have been a minor annoyance sure. I agree that if you're going to make all the characters a nationality and go through the effort of casting that nationality for minor characters, then you should do it for the mains as well, if they share that nationality. But not doing it would never ruin a movie.
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Postby Seele00TextOnly » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:15 am

Name them? If I were more knowledgeable about film and was the type that remembered names I'm certain that I could. But this is just my point... when a good Japanese story or part comes along they go and change the characters into white people or something and thus they don't get the parts! That's part of what's so offensive!

You say 'who cares' about the New York / Tokyo thing, and guess what? I already told you I care. So asking 'who cares' afterwards is just irritating and stupid.

If you still fail to comprehend such simple facts, I'm afraid there's nothing I can do in this conversation. You simply refuse to get it if these points continue to not sink in.
Last edited by Seele00TextOnly on Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Tarnsman » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:20 am

View Original PostSeele00TextOnly wrote:Name them? If I were more knowledgeable about film and was the type that remembered names I'm certain that I could. But this is just my point... when a good Japanese story or part comes about they go and change the character into a white person or something and thus they don't get the part! That's part of what's so offensive! If you still fail to comprehend such a simple fact, I'm afraid there's nothing I can do in this conversation. You simply refuse to get it if that point doesn't sink in.


You still can't comprehend that it's no longer a Japanese story. It's an American adaptation. If I wanted a Japanese story, I'd watch the Japanese production, with the original Japanese director, which I do. What you seem to be wanting is for Hollywood to just copy and paste Evangelion line for line into live action, which would be retarded and pointless. It would add nothing to the work. What you should be complaining about is that there aren't enough original American films about Japanese characters. Which again, is like complaining that there aren't enough Japanese films about Korean characters.
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Postby Legendary » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:34 am

No, what Seele wants is for a theoretical live action series to keep to the GENERAL details of the story presented: Shinji et al should be Japanese, barring Asuka who should be German. It should take place in Tokyo-3, Eva-01 should be the new vessel for Yui's soul, the Angels shouldn't be actual aliens but newborn life that is simply not capable of coexisting with man, and Seele should actually be an evil conspiracy that endeavors to wipe out mankind.

EDIT: This doesn't mean we need to copy the episodes. It just means that there's an overall story that's going on that needs to be preserved. Would it make sense if the LotR movies had suddenly been moved into Africa, just with midgets who burrow into hills and mountains and immortal pointy-ears, and became an allegory for WWII?

No! And that's what's wrong with Akira, and what would ultimately end up happening to a Live-Action Eva if it decides "Fuck Shinji. Shawn is our new hero and he's from Milwaukee!"

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Postby Fazmotron » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:52 am

So, it seems that Matt Greenfield is no-longer involved in LAEM, and that he was only there with WETA to design the pitch of the series to the studio. He said that Joseph Chou is now attached, and that apparently the studio is shopping around for a director.

So yeah, this is all from Supanova today, at the Tiffany Grant & Matt Greenfield panel. Here's the recording of the entire thing, the LAEM stuff starts at about 14:20.

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Postby Tarnsman » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:37 pm

View Original PostLegendary wrote:*Snip*


What's wrong with the Akira is that it's being turned into a generic action movie with shitty writing. Again, that would be the case regardless of what race/nationality the characters are. Changes are only bad if the changes are retarded (Like the changes you described for LoTR: Africa Edition). The Departed did just fine changing the setting to Boston and changing the characters from Chinese to American.

Personally, I would be happy if Evangelion's story was changed for the live-action adaptation. I would rather see it be a long character drama about Shinji and his problems, with absolutely nothing to do with mecha, instead of seeing it turned into another humanity-fights-off-invaders generic action movie, with bad effects that look like shit, because Anime style action does not translate well into live-action without being campy.

The only anime that should be transferred 100% story wise to a live-action Hollywood adaptation, is School Days marketed as a romantic comedy.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:57 pm

The problem with American ethnic groups (American Chinese, American Japanese, American Hispanic, ect.) is that they always get cast in the same stereotypical roles. An Asian guy will always play a character named "Wong Tai" or something like that. And the people of various ethnic heritages that finally do make it big in Hollywood without having to be stereotyped in minor roles have gone through cosmetic surgery in order to do so.

Now I understand that you'd want to have a Japanese character with a name like "Misato Katsuragi" to be played by someone who would look Japanese enough in order to have that name make sense for that character. But at the same time, if we want a live-action Evnagelion film to remain that true to setting and various other elements in a heavily Japanese oriented show, then it would also make sense for the whole thing to be made in Japan by a Japanese creative team. After all, there are a lot of cultural elements in Evangelion that are exclusive to a Japanese life-style. An American director would most likely screw up a lot of that, making various cultural elements in of Evangelion lost in translation. Heck, compare the English dub of Evangelion 2.22 to the Japanese dub. There are some Japanese cultural references that were completely dropped in the translated script. We're not just talking Japanese honorifics. We're talking about small elements of life the children characters would be interested in the background that were removed simply because an English-speaking audience supposedly wouldn't get it. (Toji licks the Popsicle stick clean, looks at it, as says, "Damn, I didn't win." In the English dub, it was changed to "These things never last.")

If we're gonna go to the effort to want a Japanese looking cast with the original Japanese sounding names, then just move the whole production company to Japan, where everybody gets all of that stuff anyway. We could even have the cast speaking actual Japanese because, well, that's what the Japanese characters do in the original Japanese show.

But in order for this to be done well, one would need better live-action production quality that what is usually found in live-action special-effects heavy Japanese sci-fi films. Let's face it, the reason why most of them don't look so hot is because only Japanese people watch these movies, and the studios only gross about the same as if a Hollywood film was only distributed to California and ignored the rest of the U.S. and the world. So you would need a big American company to pull some cash to get ILM on the project, or Peter Jackson as producer to get WETA to create the visual effects, and work on foreign distribution. (You know, so places other than Japan can see this movie, and the film would actually be able to get it's money back and maybe even gain profit from it over time.)

But then talks would be had about moving the production company outside of Japan, getting a non-Japanese creative team to work on it, maybe keep a Japanese looking cast if the foreign production heads (not Japanese) really "cared" about it, but they probably don't anyway, so... well, now we're just back to where we started.

If you want live-action Evangelion movie to stay true to Japan and the like, then you're gonna have to get used to watching a live-action Japanese sci-fi film subbed with sub-par CGI. If you want the big-budget effects of America to be featured in an intelligent action film, then write your own script and see how just how hard it is to get that idea sold. Especially in an industry fixated upon comic book adaptations, remakes, prequels, and sequels.
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Postby symbv » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:15 pm

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:The only anime that should be transferred 100% story wise to a live-action Hollywood adaptation, is School Days marketed as a romantic comedy.


Won't work in Hollywood, but may work in some indie flicks.
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Postby THE Hal E. Burton 9000 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:28 pm

these days, I do not think it would be hard to have a predominantly AZN cast in a live-action film, especially an adaptation of some anime, though the probability is low due to most producers and studios not wanting to take risks with the film perhaps looking "foreign" to mainstream audiences (or at least focus groups)

there have been plenty of actors besides Bruce Lee, George Takei, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, the late Mako Iwamatsu or Pat Morita over the years, including those that have had steady appearances in recent major films, like Ken Watanabe, John Cho, Jason Scott Lee, Chow Yun Fat, Sandra Oh, etc., there just has not been a big breakout film yet that has an Asian individual in the lead role

also, people of Asian decent make up about 5-8% of the US population according to the Census, so the odds are not good demographically speaking
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Postby Grimmjow » Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:30 pm

View Original Postsymbv wrote:Won't work in Hollywood, but may work in some indie flicks.


We already had our School Days.

It was called The Room.
"YOU'RE TEARING ME APART MAKOTO!"

In all seriousness, I could see School Days being done by some indie film company.

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Postby Tarnsman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:14 pm

View Original Postsymbv wrote:Won't work in Hollywood, but may work in some indie flicks.


I was joking, although School Days could probably be the greatest troll film ever made. I can see tons of people flocking to a teen-rom com, only to be greeted with copious fornication and murder.

FreakyFilmFan4ever wrote:(Toji licks the Popsicle stick clean, looks at it, as says, "Damn, I didn't win." In the English dub, it was changed to "These things never last.")


Which I found to make little to no sense, because I've seen those kind of Popsicles in the US. But as for the rest of your post, I agree that if you want to watch a Japanese story, you should watch a Japanese production, or at least a production with a Japanese cast and crew heavily involved; however I don't agree that Eva is any more Japanese than any other anime focusing on Japanese characters, nor are the themes and ideas simply restricted to Japanese culture.
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Postby gatotsu911 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:43 pm

View Original PostTarnsman wrote:I don't agree that Eva is any more Japanese than any other anime focusing on Japanese characters, nor are the themes and ideas simply restricted to Japanese culture.

This. I shouldn't have to point this out to anybody on this forum, but Japan doesn't exactly have a monopoly on depressed teenagers, abusive adults and social alienation.

That said, as much as Evangelion is at heart a character drama, I disagree that getting rid of the mechas would be an even remotely good idea. I don't want it turned into another boneheaded action movie as much as anybody, but Evangelion without the sci-fi aspect is not Evangelion. The intrigue/action/Big Idea-driven sci-fi and psychological, character-driven drama support each other; you couldn't have one without the other.
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Postby Tarnsman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:03 pm

View Original Postgatotsu911 wrote:This. I shouldn't have to point this out to anybody on this forum, but Japan doesn't exactly have a monopoly on depressed teenagers, abusive adults and social alienation.

That said, as much as Evangelion is at heart a character drama, I disagree that getting rid of the mechas would be an even remotely good idea. I don't want it turned into another boneheaded action movie as much as anybody, but Evangelion without the sci-fi aspect is not Evangelion. The intrigue/action/Big Idea-driven sci-fi and psychological, character-driven drama support each other; you couldn't have one without the other.


Realistically speaking, I consider it a good idea because I know Hollywood would focus on the mecha aspect and probably screw it up. If I had to choose, I would rather Hollywood focused on the characters first and foremost and get that right before trying to tackle the sci-fi aspect. Also, with a feature length movie, you can only put so much into 90 to 180 minutes of film.
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Postby gatotsu911 » Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:57 pm

That's true, but as I said, without the sci-fi Evangelion becomes virtually unrecognizable. You know I'm not all for slavish, literal-minded adherence to the source material when it comes to adaptations, but I think cutting the sci-fi aspect altogether would fall quite adequately under your concern of:
Tarnsman wrote:simply making a movie that has barely anything in common with the source material and slapping the name on it
. The series is named after the robots. Remove them and what you're left with is quite literally this. I absolutely agree that whoever directs this project is going to need to understand that the characters are the beating heart of the story, and likewise I am also dubious about Hollywood action movie directors' ability to perceive and master this. However, none of this changes what I stated in my previous post: the sci-fi aspect is a vital component of Evangelion. Making a version of Evangelion without science fiction would be like making a version of The Sopranos where Tony is just a normal, non-mafia-affiliated middle-aged guy. Sure, the "genre element" of both shows is not in fact what they are actually about, but removing them would take away vital context that allows the deeper themes and dramatic plot elements in both shows to work as well as they do.

Also, I am actually somewhat dismayed to hear that Matt Greenfield is no longer involved with the project. I'm not exactly a big fan of his, but hell, at least he had SOME connection to and personal investment in the original series. Without him I'm worried that all the decisions will be left up to a bunch of Hollywood producers, and... well, I think we all know what most Hollywood producers' track record for this sort of thing is. (If Scott Rudin is working on the film, though, I'm already sold.)
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Postby Tarnsman » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:11 pm

View Original Postgatotsu911 wrote:That's true, but as I said, without the sci-fi Evangelion becomes virtually unrecognizable. You know I'm not all for slavish, literal-minded adherence to the source material when it comes to adaptations, but I think cutting the sci-fi aspect altogether would fall quite adequately under your concern of: . The series is named after the robots. Remove them and what you're left with is quite literally this. I absolutely agree that whoever directs this project is going to need to understand that the characters are the beating heart of the story, and likewise I am also dubious about Hollywood action movie directors' ability to perceive and master this. However, none of this changes what I stated in my previous post: the sci-fi aspect is a vital component of Evangelion. Making a version of Evangelion without science fiction would be like making a version of The Sopranos where Tony is just a normal, non-mafia-affiliated middle-aged guy. Sure, the "genre element" of both shows is not in fact what they are actually about, but removing them would take away vital context that allows the deeper themes and dramatic plot elements in both shows to work as well as they do.


Sure, if whoever directs it could properly handle those elements. However, while the Evangelions may be the titular component, if it came down to cutting the characters out, or cutting the Evas out, the characters are more important. Yes, without the sci-fi element you lose a great deal of Eva and people often understate how important it is. But if we have to get a Live-action Eva (which I would prefer if we just didn't), and if I had to chose between them getting one right and screwing the other up, I'd pick the characters. Mecha isn't something that translates well into live action, even with Hollywood's budget behind it, and while I would like to see the element preserved, I think it would have to be handled in a different way to truly work.

Furthermore, I don't think it's fair to look at this adaptation any different from the various spin off manga/games that completely change things.
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