Hey everybody, FilmmakerJ here.
I've been thinking about this subject for a long time, the Lupin the 3rd Live Action movie, as well as the Cowboy Bebop live action movie that is likely to be made, they're just working out the script so that it won't cost them a lot of money. But there's an overall thing I've been thinking about, and that is the concept of casting, casting actors who are right for the role.
I know a lot of you out there are really big anime fans, not just for Lupin the 3rd. So many of you are into Japanese actors. But let's be honest, Japanese anime characters, in live action do not have to be played by Japanese actors. In fact, I personally think they are not the best people for the job at all, except in certain instances. Anime characters don't even look Japanese most, if not all the time. So why would the first choice to play them be someone who's Asian?
Now I'm not saying that Japanese or Asian people shouldn't play Japanese or Asian anime characters in live action. But for something like Lupin the 3rd, where the characters don't look Asian (like I said before) and they travel all around the world, I think it would look much more believable if at least Lupin was played by a white guy. He looks like a white guy, he acts like a white guy, and western men could probably pull off his exact features better than an Asian could. He's even part French, he doesn't even have to look Asian at all, he could just have Asian blood from his mother and have some features.
My point is, I'm picky about choosing actors who look, act and speak the part. If any of those things are not as good as they can possibly be, then I will nit pick about getting someone else to do it. Oh sure, I want to be a director, so if I was in a real situation I would be less picky about actors to save the production company time and money. But I would still go to unconventional lengths to find the proper people that looked awesome for the part. Even regularly finding unknowns or totally new people to play the parts. There's somebody out there who looks like anything you want, you just have to hope they can act.
I've thought about who would be the best actors to play Lupin and the gang, and even though one of these choices is not the best, and one will probably never be in the best shape to do it, here's who I have picked so far:
Lupin the 3rd:
Many people have said that if Jim Carrey was in his prime, he could play a great Lupin. I agree that he's a great choice, but maybe a bit too hammy for it. His bizarre ways of wrenching his body and face around would just not work, so if he used his talents in a toned down manner, maybe he could've done a great job, but there are other choices. The one that has been around lately, since that fake poster got out onto the internet, is Jason Lee playing Lupin. And since he had the side burns in "Alvin and the Chipmunks," I can kinda see him playing a decent Lupin. The only problem I have is his slightly odd accent, I can't quite tell what it is, it's sounds a bit southern since he played Earl, but I don't know. That's my only hiccup with him. But I'm sure someone else could do it even better. I would like a known actor to play him though, so who ever it is, it'd be better if he was an established actor.
For Jigen, the first and only guy that went through my mind, the best guy for the job, would be Robert Downey Jr. I'm not saying there's not somebody with other better qualities. But with the way that Downey carries himself, with his sarcasm, his personality, his screen presence, and his good features, he would be a dynamite pick. He wouldn't be in the leading role like he usually is, but hey, he'd still be awesome.
I have yet to figure out who could best play Fujiko
. We all know she'd have to be absolutely gorgeous, she'd have to be powerful and independent, not look like an air head; and of course she'd have to have a (believable) large set of breasts, and not prosthetic either. Who could pull that off, I don't know, but I'm getting sick and tired of hearing Angelina Jolie being the choice for the role
. She has nothing in common with Fujiko. She's not that kind of gorgeous, her boobs are not large enough, she can handle herself sure, but I just can't see somebody like Jim or Jason swooning over her. She doesn't have the bomb shell appearance to make it believable that Lupin would be dreaming about her every waking moment like in the series.
I also haven't figured him out
. In Goemon's case though, since he is a Samurai he could be played by an Asian because of obvious reasons. I am again, not about keeping ethnic groups in their stereotypical roles, if you want a western actor to play Goemon that's fine too. But if anybody in this cast is going to believably be played by an Asian, then Goemon is the guy. I don't know who, but no, Jacky Chan can't do it, he was never a Samurai and he's too old now. And Jet Lee can't do it for similar reasons, plus he's a bit too round. Goemon has to be slender.
Now I have a choice for Pops, but this choice would've only worked had this Live action movie been made back in the 90s. See i my book, as a few of us I'm sure have already thought, in the 90s, there was only one man who could've play an awesome Zenigata and fit the part almost like a glove, maybe one size short, but he was the best in the biz. Ladies and Gentlemen, I submit to you Bruce Campbell. Bruce in his role as "Brisco County Jr." was very similar to Zenigata, he was searching for a gang of outlaws and one main villain named Bly. He had the cleverness that Zenigata portrayed in his later appearances in the TV specials, not his bumbling nature of the Red Jacket series. And I tend to like Zenigata's more cunning personality. So if there was ever a better man for the job, it was Bruce Campbell. But since Bruce is older, fatter, and not in any movies anymore that I know of, that amazing ship has sadly sailed. So I couldn't tell ya who could play him now, but goodness, somebody just like Bruce better play Zenigata, or I will get pissed.
I love Lupin the 3rd, he's my favorite character ever, "The Castle of Cagliostro" has become my most favorite film of ALL TIME (rather on it's own, it being my favorite has nothing to do with the rest of Lupin franchise, but I'm counting it anyway), Yuji Ohno is my most favorite composer, his music is AMAZING. And I'm continually fascinated by how many Lupin movies and episodes there are out there, and how much stuff has been made of him. I just want to see his franchise adapted well in the states. I want them to do justice to the material. And really, having Asians playing the roles would just ruin that for me, they don't look the part. Maybe Fujiko, and maybe Jigen and Goemon and Zenigata too, but not Lupin, Lupin needs to be played by a slender, agile, western actor with a funny laugh. (However, if Yamada Yasuo was still alive, and in HIS prime, he would be the only Japanese guy I'd be okay with playing Lupin, but nobody else)
So I submit to you, that just because Lupin the 3rd is a Japanese production, that the Live Action movie does not necessarily need to have the characters played by Japanese or Asian actors. I want actors that look, act, and sound the part. So who ever can deliver a dynamite performance for Lupin, Jigen, Fujiko, Goemon, and Zenigata the best, is who I will be rooting for.
(Next time I'm on I promise I won't be so long, and I won't be so serious.)
Bye, catch ya later.