In a newly released video, Mamoru Oshii – the director for the original Ghost in the Shell anime – has praise for Scarlett Johansson’s acting, saying she has gone “beyond his expectations” for performing as the cyborg character named Major.
Along with cuts of new behind-the-scenes footage, the team working on Ghost in the Shell speak about their thoughts on director Rupert Sanders and the movie.
Behind the story:
When American actor Scarlett Johansson was cast as the actress for the Japanese anime character Major Motoko Kusanagi, some fans were outraged by Hollywood’s decision to cast a white actor in an Asian character’s role. This phenomenon is called “whitewashing”, where white actors/actresses are cast in non-white roles. Many Asian actors have spoken up about this in recent years, as Hollywood has shifted towards a more diverse environment.
Although this issue has been brought up in the past, Ghost in the Shell may be a special case. Many fans have noted that the story background portrayed is aimed to represent diversity in alternative Japan, with many characters being non-Asian. The main character Major herself is searching for a grasp on her identity, and can’t simply be defined by society’s traditional views. It remains to see how this turns out.
Watch the new trailer here.