For those expecting the live-action Attack on Titan movies to be exactly like the anime and mangas, you may need to rethink that. As the character visuals revealed earlier have suggested, the film adaptation will differ significantly from the source material. As revealed by screenwriter Tomohiro Machiyama, the deviations will go beyond Hange’s RPG and tanks appearing in the movie.
In his interview with Cinema Today, the renowned screenwriter and film critic said that the Eren and Mikasa in the live-action movies (played by Haruma Miura and Kiko Mizuhara respectively), will be very different from the ones we know in the anime and manga. Instead of the angry, hot-blooded Eren Yeager stopping for nothing to kill every single titan out there, we will be getting a tamer, milder, more “normal” film version who freezes up in fear every time a titan appears. But, that does not seem like the Eren we know? That’s because Attack on Titan mangaka, Hajime Isayama asked for that change. He said Eren should not be as sympathetic as a shounen manga character (which he actually is), and asked for a less intense Eren, one who is afraid of titans as opposed to his usual hot-blooded self.
Mikasa on the other hand won’t be like the badass genius titan killer with killer abs, but will be more of a love interest who wills Eren to fight.
Both the manga and the anime present the characters (with the exception of Mikasa) as European and Caucasian. However, the live-action movies have been set in Japan and have a visibly less European feel than the anime or the manga. They also changed the characters from Caucasian to Asian, and mostly to Japanese. In the interview, Machiyama revealed that fans in general don’t want to see Japanese actors playing European characters, which was the main reason for the change. He also pointed out that using Ginkanjima island as the setting for the movie already made it a totally different world from the original.
Another notable difference between the anime/manga and the live-action films is the fact that one certain popular-yet-grumpy character is missing. Can you guess who it is?
If you guessed Levi, then you are absolutely correct! But won’t fans find it weird that the series’ most popular character is missing? Machiyama answers that the reason for that stems from the “race-lift” given to the characters. Because the live-action movies are set in Japan and features Japanese characters, it seems that the name Levi would stick out like a sore thumb. In Japanese, names like Eren, Armin, and even Sasha are easy to write, but according to the screenwriter, Levi, whose name is written as リヴァイ would stick out as the katakana character ヴ (which is for v) is not normally used in Japanese names. This would simply raise more questions about Levi’s background having a more foreign-sounding name, hence the decision to leave him out of the movies.
However, it does seem like there is a surrogate character of sorts for the series’ resident neat freak. Sakishima, dubbed “Humanity’s Strongest Man”, as opposed to Levi’s character who is “Humanity’s Strongest Soldier”. However, whether he could stand up to the larger-than-life character that is Levi is still up in the air.
The first movie will open in Japan this 1 August while the second movie, Attack on Titan: End of the World, will premiere in Japan on 19 September. The first movie will also be shown in Singapore in the same month this coming 13 August. Encore Films will be distributing the movie, which will be available in Japanese audio with both English and Chinese subtitles. It will be shown at various Golden Village cinemas across Singapore.