Okay, take an iconic anime from the really late last century and then remake it as a live action film 20+ years later. How can you screw that up? By casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead role- a role that is not even her ethnicity. That is how. Can it get much worse though? Sure, why not, this is Hollywood after all. The real question is, is Johansson in the lead such a bad thing?
Fans are a fickle bunch. Do stuff they like and you are adored. Do something to shake up the norm and you are crap on a cracker. Sure, there are a lot of people upset over Johansson playing the lead role of “Major”, a cyborg police woman that was not up to date on the whole “clothing” situation in the original anime. Fans of the original Ghost in the Shell anime are, understandably, upset because the lead role did not go to a Japanese actress. Instead it went to Scarlett Johansson, an obviously not of Asian descent actress.
Is it really that bad that the studio is going out on a limb, of sorts, by casting a non-Asian actress in the lead role? The whole point of The Major was that she was a cyborg- it is not inconceivable that she can change her appearance as needed. There is no word on if at some point that she will change appearances in the live action film or not (maybe for covert operations?) but it could happen. For those crying foul- that didn’t happen in the original, just remember it is not uncommon for studios to step out of the canon story for creative freedoms here and there. They have already cast a non-Asian woman in the lead so anything is possible.
At first I was in agreement with everyone bitching about Johansson taking the lead role in Ghost in the Shell. Then I thought about it a bit, forgot about it, then remembered it again. That is when it hit me, Johansson is hot now. She is coming off of work in the Avengers, and complimentary, movies, has a strong fanbase and is not hard on the eyes. If something like Ghost in the Shell is going to have a chance of making enough money to make a sequel, the movie needs someone like Johansson in the lead role. It has already stirred controversy and got people talking about Ghost in the Shell and it doesn’t release till early next year.
What are your thoughts?