• SHARE

After the online petitions, the countless think pieces and Twitter tirades, Hollywood’s “Ghost in the Shell” was never going to have an easy passage. Rupert Sanders’ film — a $110 million live-action movie based on a beloved manga and anime property — was ill-fated from the start, tarnished by the controversy surrounding the decision to cast a white actor, Scarlett Johansson, in a role that was originally Japanese.

When Paramount Pictures released a photo last April of Johansson as cyborg ass-kicker Major Motoko Kusanagi, now simply known as The Major, it prompted a social media uproar that never abated. An online petition to instead cast an Asian actress drew more than 100,000 signatures. Each new trailer or marketing push for the film attracted a fresh load of invective from critics, many of them Asian-American, who accused it of “whitewashing” its Japanese source material.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)