Fans of the Japanese manga series Attack on Titan may have noticed that the posters and trailers for the live-action adaptation is missing something big — one of its main characters.
As it turns out, the beloved character Levi was intentionally missing from these promos because he is not featured in the movie at all.
Attack on Titan screenwriter Tomohiro Machiyama revealed to the Japanese website Cinema Today that the main character was left out of the film, and instead the storyline will follow the relationship between the other lead characters in the manga, Eren and Mikasa.
Levi Ackerman is the most powerful soldier and leader of the elite squad in the Survey Corps. Although he is strong, he known for cleaning off his blades while still on the battlefield — thanks to his obsessive compulsive tendencies when it comes to keeping things clean. Levi has a reputation for being blunt, and rarely shows emotion. However, he does have empathy and is loyal to those he respects.
While fans may be disappointed that they won't be seeing the popular character in the film, Machiyama revealed legitimate reasoning behind the decision. The setting of the movie was changed from Germany to Japan after director Shinji Higuchi chose to film on Battleship Island (Gunkanjima), located off the coast of Nagasaki.
"That's already a different world from the original, so the only choice is to change the setting to Japan," Machiyama said.
This also makes sense, given that many fans have voiced concerns about having Japanese actors playing roles for Caucasian characters.
But because the movie would now be set in Japan, that means the characters' names would have to be changed to Japanese. Translating Levi's name would not work in making the movie realistic since his name – which comes out to Rivai – contains a character that is not used in traditional Japanese names.
The filmmakers could then either change all the names, or remove Levi from the story, and they finally decided on the latter.
Instead, Attack on Titan will focus on Eren and Mikasa, but even their storyline received some changes. Instead of vowing to destroy every Titan like in the manga, the characters fear them in the film. Mikasa will be featured more as a love interest – even though she is Eren's sister – inspiring him to fight.
Part one of the two-part Attack on Titan film will be released on August 1 in Japan, followed by part two on September 19. Attack on Titan will also be released in U.S. theaters in the fall.
Via: Comic Book Resources