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Old 2013-05-01, 08:08   Link #41
Kirarakim
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Although I don't think they will go this route, who says they can't get a new actor for the role of Tenma?

The lead role doesn't have to be someone established. If they want established actors to pull viewers in there are plenty of other roles for that.

So saying there are no Japanese actors who can speak English for the role isn't necessarily true.
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Old 2013-05-01, 13:03   Link #42
4Tran
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
Although I don't think they will go this route, who says they can't get a new actor for the role of Tenma?

The lead role doesn't have to be someone established. If they want established actors to pull viewers in there are plenty of other roles for that.
It's not too likely because any investor will want to see a big name director paired up with a big name actor. Also, there aren't all that many plum roles in the show, so it's harder to build up the rest of the cast. Bear in mind that the Game of Thrones TV series got as much attention as it did because everyone thought that Sean Bean would be the lead. (Not counting those who've read the book that is. )
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Old 2013-05-01, 13:34   Link #43
Kirarakim
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I don't know there is Nina, Johan, Lunge..that is a lot of big roles.

That being said I still don't expect them to go with a Japanese actor. I can possibly see them going with an Asian actor for Tenma though.
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Old 2013-05-01, 15:33   Link #44
SeijiSensei
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Most HBO series do not feature big-name stars; the budgets are too small.
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Old 2013-05-02, 00:48   Link #45
4Tran
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Originally Posted by Kirarakim View Post
I don't know there is Nina, Johan, Lunge..that is a lot of big roles.

That being said I still don't expect them to go with a Japanese actor. I can possibly see them going with an Asian actor for Tenma though.
With the exception of Nina, the other characters get very little screen time. If you watch the anime version, for a huge portion of the show, Johan and Lunge get at most 2 scenes in any given episode.

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Most HBO series do not feature big-name stars; the budgets are too small.
Some HBO shows get pretty large budgets: Rome got $100 million per season, Band of Brothers got $125 million. I wouldn't expect anything that high for Monster - the $20-40 million I brought up earlier seem to be a reasonable sum.

Besides, I don't think that any of us are talking about big name movie stars; just names recognizable enough to generate a bit of buzz. I guess that you can argue that Kaneshiro Takeshi is really big in Asia, but he's not nearly as famous in North America.
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Old 2013-05-02, 09:31   Link #46
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HBO sometimes relies on the producers and directors to generate the buzz. People watched Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom as much to see another show by Sorkin as to watch Jeff Daniels. Band of Brothers was promoted by referring to Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Stephen Ambrose as executive producers. The actors like Damian Lewis had little or no public image at the time that show aired. I can see a similar strategy for Monster emphasizing the role of Del Toro.

I'm less well acquainted with actors these days than I was when I was younger, but I, for one, have never heard of Kaneshiro Takeshi. I suspect a good Japanese actor with some knowledge of English would be fine. Once he has understood and memorized his lines, his performance is going to depend mostly on his acting chops.
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Old 2013-05-02, 13:00   Link #47
4Tran
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HBO sometimes relies on the producers and directors to generate the buzz. People watched Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom as much to see another show by Sorkin as to watch Jeff Daniels. Band of Brothers was promoted by referring to Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Stephen Ambrose as executive producers. The actors like Damian Lewis had little or no public image at the time that show aired. I can see a similar strategy for Monster emphasizing the role of Del Toro.
Those shows are also ensemble shows with obvious hooks - politics is a pretty hot topic, while Band of Brothers was feeding off the buzz generated by Saving Private Ryan. Monster as a much more esoteric show that is strongly centered around the lead. A complete unknown as Tenma would be a much harder sell.

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I'm less well acquainted with actors these days than I was when I was younger, but I, for one, have never heard of Kaneshiro Takeshi. I suspect a good Japanese actor with some knowledge of English would be fine. Once he has understood and memorized his lines, his performance is going to depend mostly on his acting chops.
He starred in House of Flying Daggers and Red Cliff (as Zhuge Liang!). The funny thing is that he's actually Taiwanese, and has starred in more major Chinese productions than Japanese ones. The lack of recognizable Japanese actors may speak to the state of Japanese television and cinema.
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Old 2013-05-02, 20:54   Link #48
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Those shows are also ensemble shows with obvious hooks - politics is a pretty hot topic, while Band of Brothers was feeding off the buzz generated by Saving Private Ryan. Monster as a much more esoteric show that is strongly centered around the lead. A complete unknown as Tenma would be a much harder sell.


He starred in House of Flying Daggers and Red Cliff (as Zhuge Liang!). The funny thing is that he's actually Taiwanese, and has starred in more major Chinese productions than Japanese ones. The lack of recognizable Japanese actors may speak to the state of Japanese television and cinema.
Ethnically, Kaneshiro Takeshi is half Japanese (more technically, half Okinawan) and half Taiwanese, an ethnic mix similar to legendary Japanese home run king Oh Sadaharu and Jpop singer Hitoto You.

Kaneshiro was born in Taiwan to a Japanese father and a Taiwanese mother. Unlike Oh who is a Taiwanese citizen, Kaneshiro is a Japanese citizen.
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Old 2013-05-12, 14:34   Link #49
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At least it seems that Monster would follow the manga closely.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news...-manga-closely

Urasawa-sensei staying involved is a good thing. Maybe he and Del Toro and whomever else can prevail upon HBO to not whitewash Tenma. I'd love to see this become a hit with a Japanese Tenma just to prove to those idiots in Hollywood that the audience will reward fidelity to the original source and the courage to go with an Asian lead. Then maybe we would not worry so much about the Hollywood version of Death Note.

I somehow still have nightmares about Justin Bieber as Light, and Light being the hero rather than the villain. I really hope that Hollywood Death Note doesn't turn out that way (For the record, I haven't seen or read Death Note)
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Old 2013-05-12, 18:41   Link #50
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At least it seems that Monster would follow the manga closely.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news...-manga-closely

Urasawa-sensei staying involved is a good thing. Maybe he and Del Toro and whomever else can prevail upon HBO to not whitewash Tenma. I'd love to see this become a hit with a Japanese Tenma just to prove to those idiots in Hollywood that the audience will reward fidelity to the original source and the courage to go with an Asian lead.
I am glad to hear that he is staying close to the original source material, if he deviated too much then it really wouldn't be the same story.

As for Dr. Tenma, I wouldn't be greatly against them making him be a white male, but I would rather them keep him a japanese Doctor. If they make that change though it won't really effect my opinion of the adaptation all that much, as long as the actor is competent and can successfully portray the emotions/ordeal that Dr. Tenma is going through. I would much rather have a competent white male actor as Tenma then a B rate Japanese actor as Tenma just to keep true to the source material.
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Old 2013-05-12, 18:53   Link #51
MUAHAHAHAHAHA
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I think Ken Watanabe would suit the role....
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Old 2013-05-12, 19:46   Link #52
SeijiSensei
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I think Ken Watanabe would suit the role....
I like Watanabe, but his IMDb profile shows he is 54 which might be a bit too old to play Tenma.

Just for a lark I browsed through this list of Asian actors. Here are my nominees:

Ken Jeong (44) - The guy has a medical degree! What more could you want? Has anyone seen him in anything other than a comedic role?

Masi Oka (39) - Right age range and a Japanese native, but perhaps a bit too nerdy? I didn't see any pictures of him without his glasses which might help. He played a medical doctor on "Hawaii Five-0."

B D Wong (53) - He has a Tony for "M. Butterfly" which might give him some cred. He's a bit old for the part, but he looks younger in his photos.

Tim Kang (40) - Known to American audiences from his work in The Mentalist. Perhaps a bit too "grungy" for our distinguished neurosurgeon?

Daniel Dae Kim (45) - Appears on TV's remake of Hawaii Five-0 and has a number of voice acting credits in games and animated series. His main photo seems like a good look for Tenma, though perhaps a bit too harsh.

Rex Lee (44) - Appeared in the HBO series Entourage. For that reason alone, I wouldn't be surprised to see him playing Tenma.

Thinking about this question makes me realize that it will be difficult to cast Tenma. Most male Asian actors working in Hollywood appear either in "action" films, often as villains, or as comic relief or sidekick characters. Tenma is introverted, obsessive, and very, very serious, and he's hardly an action character. That's why I thought someone with Daniel Dae Kim's looks and demeanor might be a possibility. Oka seems like another good choice, but having not watched the current incarnation of Hawaii Five-O I cannot tell whether he would fit the part.

Maybe Daniel Day Lewis should audition? With the right makeup he'd probably make a great Tenma!
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Old 2013-05-12, 20:04   Link #53
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Most HBO series do not feature big-name stars; the budgets are too small.
They do feature stars though; before Game of Thrones, Peter Dinklage was well known in the film community. Lena Headey was in that Terminator series that was on briefly. And GoT is doing pretty good, budget wise.

Anyway, they better cast an Asian actor for Tenma at least; I know the pickings is slim for well known Japanese actors but don't whitewash Tenma.


Too bad Daniel Dae Kim is tied up with Hawaii 5-0. Man oh man, I'd love it if he was Tenma.

Masi Oka is adorable, but he's too goofy to be Tenma. So is Ken Jeong.
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Old 2013-05-12, 20:06   Link #54
MUAHAHAHAHAHA
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Maybe Daniel Day Lewis should audition? With the right makeup he'd probably make a great Tenma!
Daniel Day Lewis with his method acting might just fool me into thinking he's a Jap
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Old 2013-05-12, 20:27   Link #55
SeijiSensei
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Daniel Day Lewis with his method acting might just fool me into thinking he's a Jap
Well Hollywood did get Americans to believe that a Swede was Chinese for nearly a decade, so pretty much anything is possible! I saw those movies as a kid in the 50's, and I certainly thought he was Chinese.
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Old 2013-05-12, 22:16   Link #56
Guardian Enzo
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Um... Do people still not realize that's an offensive term for Japanese? Just saying.

I don't think the issue of big stars is such a problem - HBO has decent budgets for all their big series. And they've had their share of big names - Dustin Hoffman in Luck, for example. And most of the cast in GoT are very well-known and established actors in Britain, and don't come all that cheap.

I think George Takei is available...
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Old 2013-05-12, 22:22   Link #57
Kirarakim
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Well he is not Japanese but I would love Daniel Dae Kim as Tenma as well.

Since you mentioned George Takei (obviously too old) there is also John Cho.
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Old 2013-05-13, 03:04   Link #58
Guardian Enzo
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I was kidding about Takei, though!
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Old 2013-05-13, 04:40   Link #59
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I finished Monster just two months ago, and ended up liking it very much (despite not being an avid manga reader), so the thought of it being adapted to live-action's pretty exciting, and what more, one handled by Del Toro!

Since the announcement, I hadn't expected any more updates so soon. The latest news about the pilot script gives me a rather optimistic feeling about the progress of the series' development.

Tenma's one thing, but I can't guess a suitable actor for Johan...
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Old 2013-05-13, 05:31   Link #60
Kirarakim
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I was kidding about Takei, though!
I figured I just meant since you mentioned Takei it made me think of Cho since they played the same character. I do realize Cho isn't Japanese though.
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