Hollywood’s live-action remake of Ghost In The Shell has once again been accused of “whitewashing” after the first image of Scarlett Johansson in the lead role was released.
— Paramount Pictures (@ParamountPics) April 14, 2016
Ghost in the Shell was created by Masamune Shirow in 1989 as a manga or Japanese comic book, before being made into a cult Japanese anime movie six years later.
The story is set midway through the 21st century and follows the exploits of a fictional counter-cyberterrorist organisation called Public Security Section 9, which is led by a character called Major Motoko Kusanagi, now hailed as a Japanese icon.
Johansson was cast in this role last year (2015) and as one film fan pointed out on Twitter, her version of the character looks remarkably similar to the anime original – aside of course from ethnicity.
Good to see ScarJo embracing her Japanese heritage as Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost In The Shell. pic.twitter.com/iAmTFJK8E4
— Jeff Bailey’s Trenchcoat (@JeffTrenchcoat) April 14, 2016
Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders is directing the Hollywood remake of Ghost In The Shell and Paramount Pictures has set a release date of March 31, 2017.
After Paramount shared the picture of Johansson in Ghost In The Shell yesterday (April 14), Agents Of SHIELD actress Ming-Na Wen was among those who suggested her casting represented a “whitewashing” of the iconic Japanese role.
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
Meanwhile, Paramount Pictures has denied reports that it commissioned visual tests that could potentially make Johansson appear more Asian in post-production, telling Screen Crush: “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.”