A lot was riding on the success of Ghost in the Shell. The upcoming wave of anime adaptations such as Death Note and Akira, Paramount Pictures’ chance for a new sci-fi franchise led by Scarlett Johansson, and the chance to stymie the steadily-growing outcry against whitewashing.
But when Ghost in the Shell limped into theaters last weekend, bringing in a meager $20 million domestically on a $110 million budget, that may have spelled the end for Hollywood adaptations of anime classics. But this is not the first time Hollywood has tried and failed to remake a critically and financially successful film based on an Asian property — nor will it be the last time. The question I’m interested in answering is whether or not these Hollywood adaptations of Asian movies actually make money. Let’s look at the numbers.
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Marvel Comics has been praised recently for its uptick in diverse characters, the executives are now blaming diversity for the downturn in comic book sales.
The Marvel Retailers Summit was intended as a meeting between Marvel executives and retailers, but when Marvel allowed website ICv2 to report on the summit, it spawned a surge of outrageous headlines about Marvel’s business practices, including the inner circle’s real thoughts on the push for diversity.
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(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, and opinionated about something that makes us very happy…or fills us with indescribable rage. In this edition: why Marvel’s Iron Fist really blew it by not casting Lewis Tan in the lead role.)
Could Iron Fist have been received better if it had cast an Asian-American as Danny Rand?
Until now, that was a pipe dream for many critics of the latest Marvel Netflix show, who lambasted the series for perpetuating the myth of the white savior by choosing to stay loyal to the comic-book depiction of Rand: as a white, blonde outsider who can punch things with his magic fist. But it was recently revealed that half-Chinese actor Lewis Tan, who played one-off villain Zhou Cheng in episode eight of Iron Fist, was on hold for the part until they ultimately cast Game of Thrones alum Finn Jones.
Let me take a deep breath. I have a lot to say about this.
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