“Ghost in the Shell” hardcore fanatics were kind of surprised and allegedly disappointed that the Hollywood adaptation will have Scarlett Johansson as the protagonist. Meanwhile, the filmmakers recently selected Rila Fukushima and rumour has it that they are feuding for the lead role. Will a Japanese finally get to play the main character?
The rumoured feud might just be treated with a pinch of salt but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Johansson will still play Major Motoko Kusanagi. Fukushima will play a different role instead, but that is yet to be announced soon.
Vulture notes that Fukushima is the second Japanese actress that was picked for the movie. The first one was Takeshi Kitano who will portray the Major’s boss.
Casting Johansson as the main character has sparked controversy all of over the internet, accusing the film to be “whitewashed” by choosing a Caucasian actress to play a Japanese role, notes Fuse. Aside from that, Paramount Pictures, who will distribute “Ghost in the Shell,” is also accused of using CGI to make the white actors look like Asians. As per Screen Crush, the Hollywood adaptation received backlash on the rumours.
More than the allegedly disgruntled fans, some Asian Hollywood actors also expressed their opinion regarding the issue. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” actress Ming-Na Wen posted on Twitter that she is not against Johansson, but she is disappointed at the “whitewashing.”
Nothing against Scarlett Johansson. In fact, I'm a big fan. But everything against this Whitewashing of Asian role.😒 https://t.co/VS6r6iish9
— Ming-Na Wen (@MingNa) April 14, 2016
Paramount Pictures responded to the allegations by stating that “A test was done related to a specific scene for a background actor which was ultimately discarded. Absolutely no visual effects tests were conducted on Scarlett’s character and we have no future plans to do so,” Paramount Pictures reportedly responded.
“Ghost in the Shell” will be directed by Rupert Sanders and will hit the theatres on March 31, 2017.