A common complaint when it comes to stateside adaptations of classic anime and manga properties has been the lack of actual Asian actors playing lead roles in them. And while that trend doesn't seem to be slowing down, could Leonard DiCaprio -- whose Appian Way production company has the likes of "Akira" and "Ninja Scroll" in the works -- be listening to what fans?
Indeed he has, if a recent post on Anime News Network can be trusted. In a move that should get the hardest of hardcore anime and manga fans excited, ANN reports that DiCaprio is considering casting Japanese pop group SMAP as main leads in his "Ninja Scroll" adaptation.
While the Japanese "Idol" band have each individually acted in various films based on anime and manga titles, should this rumor pan out, it would be the first time all five members appear in a film together.
This latest casting news has been the first report we've heard from DiCaprio's Appian Way front in several weeks, after the actor-turned-budding producer offered MTV exclusive updates on "Akira" and "Ninja Scroll" back in November, adding that he wouldn't be starring in either film. Likewise, casting speculation regarding these projects is nothing new, as rumors regarding Joseph Gordon Levitt being considered for the role of Tetsuo in "Akira" also made the rounds recently.
Are you familiar with SMAP? Do you think they'd be a good fit for a "Ninja Scroll" adaptation? Talk it up in the comments.