I don’t know what annoys me more, the fact that Hollywood keeps remaking old movies instead of doing something new—because they think that our new technology can totally make the movie better—or that when Hollywood remakes these movies, it constantly features white people even in a story that is about the Japanese!
The original Godzilla movies are considered classics. The first movie started a slew of sequels where Godzilla battled other monsters, and the giant lizard quickly became a pop culture icon across the globe. But yeah, no, we totally need to remake it now, because computers, surround sound, and 3D graphics will totally make this classic monster movie better. Seriously, people in Hollywood must have no original ideas. How did they pitch this movie? Does some executive think that Godzilla (2014) is going to overshadow the original and become a classic? I saw this trailer in theaters, and I have never had a problem in movie theaters before, but this trailer was so loud, the visuals and filming so disorienting, that it was hard to watch. I’m expecting this movie to be worse than a Michael Bay movie, with very little plot or substance, and a lot of special effects that will make people feel sick before they leave.
But all of this—all of it—I could forgive, if the movie featured an entirely Japanese cast. But nope. As with all things Hollywood, it’s filled to the brim with white people. If you look at the cast list for IMDB, our main characters seem to be Ford, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Joe Brody, played by Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad fame). Most other characters appear to be the wives or family members of these two main characters—all of whom are also white. Now to be fair, the movie also lists Victor Rasuk, Patrick Sabongui, and Richard T. Jones, so there is some diversity in the cast, though sadly they all seem to be supporting characters (and I’m going to put money on them having some tragic death in the movie as well). But while it’s great to see some actors of color cast in this movie, the focus of the movie should really be on any Japanese characters. The original Godzilla is a metaphor for how nuclear weapons devastated Japan in World War II. Even Godzilla’s skin was supposed to mimic the keloid scars seen on Hiroshima survivors. But while the original movie is set in Japan and about the Japanese people, this movie features only two Japanese actors, Ken Watanabe (who is admittedly awesome) and Ken Yamamura. So far neither of these characters are even given names on IMDB, so I highly doubt they feature as main characters, let alone major supporting characters.
So instead of Godzilla focusing on Japanese characters as would be appropriate given the historical context of the original movie, Hollywood has now remade the movie and adapted it to be about white Americans. Yep, I can totally see this how this movie is going to be a masterpiece. We definitely need more stories about white Americans.