At the time of this writting I have just learned the The Manga and Anime Cyberpunkish hit "Ghost In The Shell" is being adapted into a Live Action Movie, and that Scarlet Johansson has been cast in the lead role as the Major Motoko Kusanagi (Though weather they will keep the name the same is doubtful). That's right Johansson is going from protraying Avenger Black Widow, to playing the role of a Japanese Secret Police Agency Cyborg Soldier.
The Movie which has been written by Bill Wheeler, and directed by Rupert Sanders, will be produced by Dreamworks Studios. Ghost in the Shell has been one of those projects that have been pitched for a long time, but with the signing of Johansson to star in it seem to finally gotten some legs beneath it and a green light to be made.
Now back in September of 2013 I did a mini review of the Anime Series "Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex" which you can read HERE if you are unfamiliar with the Ghost in the shell which is one of my favorite Sci-Fi animes. As I said I really like the original Ghost in the Shell Movie, and the Stand Alone Complex Series that followed however I not sure I have high hopes for this movie.
Anime Themed live action movies made here in the States have a history of being crap fests in my opinions ( Dragon ball, and Avatar The Last Airbender come to mind). So I would like to ask all you fine anime fans out there. Are you looking forward to this movie ? If so do you think it will be able to do the source material, the Manga, and Anime Justice ?
It’ll be interesting *said with some trepidation*
Well, the worst that can happen is that they completely and utterly miss the point of the source material and give us a soul-less facsimile of the original as interpreted by westerners who don’t get what the Japanese were originally trying to say with the original. Or it could be quite good. I can’t judge on previous form from the writer of director, because I’ve never heard of the writer and as far as I can tell the Director has only done one feature length film (which was average) and some commercials. Ms. Johansson is a fine actress and has proven she can kick ass as Black Widow, so I’m sure she will do as good a job as she can. Let’s just hope she’s given the right building blocks to work with.
Well doing more reading on the topic I have found there is a controversy about the casting of Johansson. Cries of Hollywood Racism, and “whitewashing” by casting a white actress to play an obvious Japanese character, in a story set in Japan.
I only wish it just happens to be January’s Fools Day today just as much I wish that scoop news were still spellchecked.
As for the questions: no, I don’t.
It’s been along time since I watched Ghost in the Shell – I did enjoy it and I’m not what you would call a big anime fan. That said, If I had to guess, we are going to get an adaption of the story, heavily Americanized, and set in futuristic LA or something. It will be heavy on action and effects, and if we are really lucky, have a decent plot – born from the source materiel – to keep things moving.
I’m looking forward to it as I would any other sci-fi movie, but I do understand that true fans of the source materiel would be concerned that is was done right.
Yeah, my first thought was “Oh, well, more whitewashing. As if Moise wasn’t enough.”
Otherwise, I heavily agree with Gene. At best, we’ll have something like Jacksons LotR: Something with added SFX and scenaristic inventions, which still vaguely ressembles the original work yet is watchable and enjoyable in its own right. At worst… Well, I’m guessing DBZ and Avatar are good references.
I’m kind of leery on this one.
I’m sure that ScarJo will do the best job that she can playing The Major with whatever script that she’s given. Would I be more enthused if they cast Rinko Kikuchi from Pacific Rim as Mokoto Kusanagi? Yeah, probably. Still, they could have done a lot worse.
Ask me again when I find out who they cast to play Batou and Togusa. Then I’ll give you a definitive answer. (Spoiler: If they don’t include Batou or Togusa, then this film will be dead to me).
I haven’t seen the anime, so I may be less qualified to comment on this… perhaps the character’s race was a huge part of her character. In which case, forget I’m about to say anything.
I wish so desperately we lived in a world where somebody’s race didn’t matter, and everyone could just be a person based entirely off of themselves, not their appearance. That being said… isn’t the best way to counter discrimination between races to make sure that someone’s race DOESN’T matter? Including in the case of actors and actresses?
We have a new African American Nicky Fury and Heimdall, and a new African American Human Torch that’s coming our way. I say, cool! New Nick Fury is a hundred times more interesting than old Nicky Fury to me, but I don’t think that has anything to do with his race. I’m glad Marvel decided to pick the actor that they felt would play the part they wanted rather than pick the actor that was the same skin color. If they had insisted on doing a white guy because Nick Fury was white, they may have ended up with someone who didn’t fit their vision. Does what I’m saying make sense? If they had selected an actor based off of race instead of the personality or ability they wanted, Nick Fury would have had a different feel than the one they were looking for.
I feel like the same is true in this situation. Don’t cut her out because she isn’t Japanese. If she is going to play the role the way want it played, don’t discriminate against her based on race. This works both ways. Not only should we let black people play white characters, we should let white people play Asian characters, Asian people play black characters, Latino people play white characters… whatever! There’s a huge push to let individuals of minority races in the United States to play characters who were typically white, but not as much of a push in the other direction. The only way we can truly fight racism is to truly stop being racist. And that means no discriminating against ANYONE based on race.
Of course, like I said before, I know nothing about the anime. This may be a case where her race is super important to the character. If I were to film a movie about the American Civil Rights movement for African Americans, I couldn’t have some white guy play an African American. Sometimes, race is important. But if it doesn’t define the character, there’s no reason to discriminate. So why are we? Why do we cry “white-washing?” Perhaps if the entire cast was out and everyone was supposed to be Japanese, but wasn’t, we would have cause for alarm. People would be looked down upon if they yelled “black-washing” at Marvel for making many of their characters African American. So why don’t we have some sort of negative stigma against yelling the former?
Truth is, white people live in Japan too. She can still be Japanese…. but Caucasian. Problem solved. Right?
Sorry this turned into a soapbox. I meant to say a few words and it grew bigger… 😛
It will (hopefully) be a decent action flick, but it won’t really get into the real themes for the simple reason that you don’t have time for that. Hollywood can do meaningful, or they can do action. Trying to both usually turns into a simplistic hot mess. American audiences won’t really pay to see meaningful in a genre piece. Maybe someday.
I think djuby might be interested in explaining why the following is a good or bad thing for his industry–SJ has now been in a few things with extremely similar outfits. Personally, though I understand utilitarianism, I don’t see that the fans or industries will benefit.
As far as I know Scarlett Johann is a good actress so… I think she is deserving for what role she must have in that film, Yes!she is the major Motoko Kusanagi she was been choose because she is capable enough to do the role so no doubt at all 🙂 and as i read this article http://www.exploretalent.com/articles/scarlett-johansson-star-japanese-anime-film-ghost-shell/ I know more about this film!lead by her..