Fans of the classic anime "Ghost in the Shell" have been anticipating the live-action adaptation of the franchise set to premiere next year.
However, Dreamworks' version of the popular anime/ manga has drawn various reactions from fans. Many are starting to doubt the upcoming film's potential. Despite the fact that the "Ghost in the Shell" movie is still months away from release, it has already gained negative publicity from fans and critics alike. All because of its main character, Scarlett Johansson.
Johansson landed the role as Major (Motoko Kusanagi) back in January 2015. The said casting has sparked accusations of "whitewashing" in Hollywood. Although majority of the cast is Asian, fans can't help but wonder why the studio didn't pick an ethnically appropriate lead character. Many fans and even celebrities expressed their disappointment on the production's choice of casting. Some even went as far as bringing up the issue of racism.
It's not like they could have cast anyone else as Motoko for Ghost in the Shell. pic.twitter.com/Bvfp9NUwH7
— mario speedwagon (@doppelhanger) April 14, 2016
Wait you're telling me Scarlett is still gonna be called Motoko in the GitS film? A white woman. Named Motoko. pic.twitter.com/XH4CSEXHMm — ✨clara mae✨ (@ubeempress) April 14, 2016
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, producer Steven Paul tried to tone down the situation and defend the film itself.
"I think everybody is going to end up being really happy with it." Paul claimed during the interview. "They're going to be very, very happy with it when they see what we've actually done with it, and I don't think anybody's going to be disappointed."
Paul also made it clear that Johansson is technically not playing Motoko Kusanagi but a character called the Major. He also added that the film is very international in tone.
Another rumor that has irked the fans even more is the alleged visual effects tests that would've modified Scarlett Johansson to "shift her ethnicity" and appear more Asian in the film.
According to ScreenCrush, Paramount Pictures acknowledged the tests, but denied that Johansson was involved.
"A test was done related to a specific scene for a background actor which was ultimately discarded. Absolutely no visual effects tests were conducted on Scarlett's character and we have no future plans to do so."
Meanwhile, avid fans are raving over the alleged leaked photos of "Ghost in the Shell" movie cast. The photos revealed what the characters might look like in the movie adaptation. Cast members include Tawanda Manyimo (Borma), Yutaka Izumihara (Saito), Pilou Asbæk (Batou), Scarlett Johansson (Major), Beat Takeshi (Chief Daisuke Aramaki), Chin Han (Togusa) and Lasarus Ratuere (Ishikawa).
Directed by Rupert Sanders, "Ghost in the Shell" movie hits theatres March 31, 2017.