Today in geek news, Mr. Sulu has some things to say about the upcoming Akira movie, Ubisoft lays the foundation for some epic movie making, the SyFy channel does another stupid thing, Mortal Kombat’s web series doesn’t suck and the internet makes me feel strange feelings about mac and cheese.
First up, George Takei on Akira. On Monday, George Takei brought his fight against Hollywood whitewashing to Canada. Appearing on CBC’s arts and culture program Q, George sneered at Warner Brothers for considering Joaquin Phoenix, Robert Pattinson and Justin Timberlake as candidates for the ethnically Japanese roles of Kaneda and Tetsuo. Takei was quick to point out that Akira has a huge global following and relocating the movie from post-apocalypic “Neo-Tokyo” to New York and filling it with unaccented white actors will likely create the sort of flop that Paramount Pictures saw in The Last Airbender. With all due deference to Mr. Takei, that movie had bigger problems then its all white cast.
Takei also spoke on the larger issues of race within Hollywood casting decisions. While proud of the strides made by Asian actors, notably his spiritual successor John Cho, Takei suggests that Hollywood is not offering ethnic Asians the leading roles that they deserve.
You can listen to full audio of the interview here.
Ubisoft, the video game publisher that brought you Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and the Silent Hunter series, is opening the doors on Ubisoft Motion Pictures. Variety reports that the Paris based studio could be used to make film and television adaptations of Ubisoft’s properties. Considering the fantastic job that Ubisoft did with Assassin’s Creed: Lineage, the 30 minute prequel movie to AC2, I think we can put this in the category of “good thing”. Furthermore, we should all take a moment to thank Jerry Bruckheimer for ensuring that Ubisoft will retain creative control over any future game-to-movie adaptations. If he hadn’t cocked up Prince of Persia with his white actors and pointless script then this may have never happened.
The SyFy channel released a trailer for their upcoming Red Faction movie, Red Faction Origins. Inspired by THQ’s video game series of the same name, this movie will tell a story about a civil disagreement between Martian colonists, twenty-five years after they won independence from Earth. Now I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the dumbest thing ever. How the hell do you do an “origin” story twenty five years after the events that defined the Red Faction video games? I would have liked to sit in on the production meeting where somebody said, “No thanks we don’t want to tell the story of Martian rebellion against Earth. We’ll just assume that our target audience has played all three Red Faction games and is familiar enough with the back story that we can do something new.” If SyFy had problems getting people to watch Caprica and Stargate Universe, I have to wonder what sort of ratings Red Faction Origins will pull in.
Red Faction Origins airs June 4th at 9PM on SyFy. It stars Robert Patrick and a whole bunch of supporting cast from other shows including Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Universe and Torchwood.
Meanwhile, the internet continues to show us just how good television can be when networks aren’t total asshats. Mortal Kombat: Legacy, released its fourth episode this week. Written and directed by Kevin Tancharoen, a former choreographer for Madonna and Britney Spears, the web series examines the mythology surrounding the Mortal Kombat tournament and its most notable fighters. The show’s rather impressive cast includes Star Trek’s Jeri Ryan, Battlestar Galactica’s Tahmoh Pinikett and Spawn himself, Michael Jai White. In my editorial opinion, Mortal Kombat: Legacy boasts surprisingly good fight scenes and special effects as well as solid acting. Moreover, the show feels like something that is self-contained, rather than a cheap promotion for the video game. Good on Warner Brothers for embracing web television.
Mortal Kombat: Legacy airs directly on youtube. Here’s the first episode for your viewing pleasure.
Finally, the web series Epic Meal Time has left me at a loss for words. I don’t really know what to say other than I think this is the sort of stuff that Caligula would use as masturbation fodder. I’ll let you watch the video and decide for yourself if humanity is worthy of expanding its reach beyond this planet.
That, such as it is, is your geek news for May 5, 2011. I’ll be going to the gym to punish myself for the next two hours as that Epic Meal Time actually made me a little hungry. Force be with you.
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