Scarlett Johansson to play trans man in new film from ‘Ghost In The Shell’ director

Johnasson and director Rupert Sands were accused of "whitewashing" on the anime remake

Scarlett Johansson will play a trans man in the new film from Ghost In The Shell director Rupert Sands, it has been confirmed.

Johansson and Sands were accused of whitewashing around the 2017 movie. The actor played Major Motoko Kusanagi in the film, which was based on a cult manga and subsequent anime movie.

Now, in Rub & Tug, the actor is set to play Dante “Tex” Gill, a real-life massage parlour owner in 1970s and 80s Pittsburgh. Gill was born Lois Jean Gill, but identified as a man. He ran mafia-protected massage parlours, which were fronts for prostitution.

Gill was convicted of tax evasion, rather than pro and sentenced to seven years in prison. He died in 2003.

Filming of the movie is due to begin in February 2019. Further details, including a release date and other cast members, have yet to be confirmed.

In February 2017, Johansson responded to Ghost In The Shell whitewashing accusations by saying she would “certainly never presume to play another race of a person.” She continued: “Diversity is important in Hollywood and I never want to feel like I was playing a character that was offensive.”

Johansson last appeared in Avengers: Infinity War, in which she reprised her role as Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow. She will appear in the as-yet-untitled fourth Avengers movie, due for release next year.