George Takei has talked before about how he has met with Star Trek director JJ Abrams before the film was cast and that he enthusiastically approves of the new Sulu, John Cho. But in a new interview with CinemaSpy, the original Sulu says that he helped Abrams overcome concerns over fan reaction of casting Sulu with a non-Japanese actor.
Takei tells CinemaSpy:
He was concerned because he was going to cast a Korean-American actor and he thought there might be some discussion by Star Trek fans. I told him Gene’s idea was to have Sulu represent all of Asia … Apparently J.J. didn’t know that, so he was quite comforted by that background information and went ahead and cast John Cho
In the rest of the interview, Takei speaks of how Sulu was given a non national-specific name to allow the character to represent all of Asia. It is certainly welcome news to see that Abrams was taking fan sensitivity into account when making his casting decisions (and consulting with the original actor). As reported before, JJ Abrams has met with all the remaining actors from Star Trek The Original Series.
More from Takei on Abrams, Cho and Roddenberry’s vision at CinemaSpy.