Scarlett Johansson Will Play Lead In Ghost In The Shell; Is Hollywood Whitewashing An Anime Classic?

Val PowellLife

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Hollywood doesn’t have a stellar track record when it comes to adapting anime, and it seems the trend is going to continue with the announcement that the oft-criticized Ghost in the Shell adaptation is pushing through. The latest news about the adaptation is that Scarlett Johansson will be starring in the lead role based on Major Motoko Kusanagi, the protagonist of the source material. The 1995 anime film is heralded as a classic among fans, and along with Akira, signaled the rise of Japanese animation in the west.

The Ghost in the Shell manga and subsequent anime adaptation proved to be successful, that it eventually became a franchise that spawned films and an animated TV series. The story revolves around a Japanese counter-terrorism team led by the cybernetically-enhanced Major Kusanagi. The Hollywood remake starring Johansson will be the first western take on the story, and will most likely transfer the action to North America instead of Japan.

Johansson has proven herself to be a marketable female action star with recent films like Lucy and her role as Black Widow in the Avengers franchise proving to be huge box office draws. However, a lot of the fans of the original work are not happy with the casting choice. Fans took to Twitter to accuse Hollywood of “whitewashing” and choosing popular Caucasian actresses to take on roles that were meant for Asian women. One Twitter user sarcastically remarked, “Every Asian actress alive was just too busy, probably”.

The Ghost in the Shell live action film will be directed by Snow White and The Huntsman’s Rupert Sanders from a script written by The Reluctant Fundamentalist’s Bill Wheeler. Whether or not they stick to the source material remains to be seen. Only time will tell if the film proves to be successful enough to change the minds of the naysayers. But at this point, a lot of fans are remaining skeptical.

Val Powell
I'm a content writer, blogger, SEO enthusiast, visual artist, world traveler and lover of spicy foods. I also live and work in Queens, New York. FOLLOW ME on Twitter! @webnewsreporter or LIKE ME on Facebook! webnewsreporter