GHOST IN THE SHELL Manga Publisher Supports Scarlett Johansson's Casting
There’s been a huge backlash to the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi in the upcoming live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell. Hollywood whitewashing has become a big deal, and there have been a ton of rants about it online. Well, Kodansha, the Japanese company that publishes the Ghost in the Shell manga, recently offered an official statement on the controversy surrounding the casting of Johansson, and I think you’ll be very surprised by what they had to say.
Everyone is saying that a Japanese actress should have been cast in the lead role, but apparently that not what Kodansha envisioned for the character. In fact, they completely support the casting of Johansson. They tell THR:
"Looking at her career so far, I think Scarlett Johansson is well-cast. She has the cyberpunk feel. And we never imagined it would be a Japanese actress in the first place. This is a chance for a Japanese property to be seen around the world."
Sam Yoshiba, director of the international business division at Kodnasha, recently visited the film's set in New Zealand, and he said that "he was impressed by the respect being shown for the source material."
I just want to reiterate that this is the publisher of the manga speaking, and not creator Masamune Shirow. So this would basically be like Marvel throwing an endorsement out for something created by their writers or artists, so it still holds some weight. What do you think about this latest statement from Yoshiba? Does it smooth things over for you a little or make you even more mad?
Ghost in the Shell is an upcoming, cyberpunk sci-fi film from Dreamworks and Paramount Pictures. Rupert Sanders directs from a script written by Jamie Moss and Jonathan Herman. Scarlett Johansson stars as Motoko Kusanagi. Pilou Asbæk plays her right-hand man, Batou. Beat Takeshi plays their boss, Lt. Col. Daisuke Aramaki. Michael Pitt will play the villain of the film, The Laughing Man.
Ghost in the Shell opens in US theaters on March 31st, 2017.