WIDECASTING NEWS UPDATE  Akira, the upcoming movie adaptation/remake of the popular Japanese graphic novel, is generating controversy as producers seem to be looking exclusively at white actors for its leads. More on that in an upcoming post…. Meanwhile Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy are currently reading the script for the part of Tetsuo while Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake and Joaquin Phoenix are focusing on potentially playing Kaneda.

The original was an animated film by acclaimed director Kazuhiro Otomo…. The new film is a Warner Bros. production in partnership with Legendary Pictures.

Warner Bros. recently installed Rick Ramirez as senior vice president, targeted marketing to Asian Americans, Warner Bros. Pictures. This is the same exec who came under fire recently at Banana 2 for his promotion of Sucker Punch as API content.

Akira is slated to be released in 2013.

No Asians survive nuclear war?

A script based on Chew, the Image comic, revolving around a Chinese American cop who gets psychic when he eats, has been purchased by Showtime. Press reports states that Showtime will tweak the script. No mention of whether that refers to ethnicity of the main character.

David Ramsey of Dexter fame has been cast in the pilot Cooper and Stone, about two female detectives.

Outsourced soon to be cancelled? The Caucasian star, David Rappaport, of the show has been signed onto a comedy pilot for CBS just in case.

Kenan Thompson set to star in Party Starters, a comedy at Paramount Pictures. Script by SNL writer Bryan Tucker.

Mekhi Phifer’s Torchwood: Miracle Day will premiere on Starz July 8. The series is based on the BBC series and also stars Bill Pullman.

Dwayne Johnson is a Snitch

Dwayne Johnson is Snitch. The action star, also known as The Rock, will star in the action thriller. Ric Roman directs a Justin Haythe script. Johnson is currently in post for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island with Vanessa Hudgens.

Emmy and Golden Globe award winner S. Epatha Merkenson joins the untitled Susannah Grant Pilot with Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme helming the pilot. The CBS pilot also starts Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Ehle.

TNT has picked up Perception with a 10-episode order. Perception stars Will and Grace’s Eric McCormack, Rachel Leigh Cook, and Arjay Smith of The Journey of Allen Strange fame.

Ellen Degeneres set to produce Sing You Home with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Based on the Jodi Picoult novel about a woman who develops a romantic relationship with a female guidance counselor who helps her recover after she suffers a still-birth and a husband leaving her.


–Ken Choy

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