Two Hollywood films in recent years have been the targets of arguments over whitewashing. The first was “Doctor Strange” with Tilda Swinton’s The Ancient One character – an issue that the film was never able to fully escape. Even more front and center though is “Ghost in the Shell,” the live-action Hollywood remake of the anime/manga classic. The casting of Scarlett Johansson in a Japanese character role raised eyebrows during production.
Despite a diverse cast and faithfulness to the original material which has been praised, even by original anime director Mamoru Oshii himself, there’s still some serious scepticism about the movie. Speaking with Empire, both Johansson and director Rupert Sanders have spoken in support of the film and claim it will be as faithful as can be.
Johansson reassures fans that they won’t be avoiding the dark edge and tone of the original: “This is a ride that’s not just explosive and exciting, but also curious and reflective.” Sanders adds: “This isn’t the s–t Hollywood version.”
Johansson stars as a cyborg security officer working to solve crimes in a future where bionic augmentation and the insertion of human consciousness into mechanical bodies is commonplace. “Ghost in the Shell” opens in March.