Scarlett Johansson Next White Actress to Play a Non-White Character

We’re almost at the end of the terrible time in movie production that occurs between the curtain call on the Academy Awards and the start of the summer season. It seems like this time has been unofficially dubbed, let’s release as many superhero movies as we can before they can be compared to products of cinematic genius in the fall. We bide our time–waiting to get to summer independent film mecca and feature film’s daring big budget productions–by stalking the rumor mills for production details on new movies. One thing we have since found is this moody pic of Scarlett Johansson dressed for her new role as Motoko Kusangi, the protagonist of the famous manga series, Ghost in the Shell.

The film, which is set somewhere in some Asian-imagined universe, has set up shop to film in New Zealand and unsurprisingly has failed to cast more than one East Asian actor. Before I step down from my soapbox, let it be known that a movie inspired by Asian culture has little evidence of any actual Asian culture. Starring alongside Johansson will be Pilou Asbaek, Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche and Kaori Momoi. But Deadline reports that regardless of any semblance of whitewashing, we should probably expect a decent movie.

Rupert Sanders (Snow White And The Huntsman) is directing the film, which is based on the famous Kodansha Comics manga series of the same name, written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow.  Avi Arad and Steven Paul are producing from a script by Jonathan Herman. Michael Costigan, Jeffrey Silver, Tetsu Fujimura and Mitsuhisa Ishikawa are exec producing. Ishikawa’s animation studio Production I.G produced the Japanese Ghost in the Shell film and television series.

Mark your calendars for March 31st. 2017 will continue to star white people.

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Perry de HavillandPunkAAkhenaten the Wise Recent comment authors
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Perry de Havilland

I take it you are totally against the idea of Idris Elba as James Bond too then? Would that be, um, blackwashing? And Throne of Blood culturally appropriating some English playwright dude called Shakespeare by casting Japs instead of Scots in that version of Macbeth must have really vexed you. Ditto casting Mexicans and Gringos instead of Japs in The Magnificent Seven, mercilessly Tex-Mex-Washing poor Mr. Kurosawa’s masterpiece The Seven Samurai…


Akhenaten the Wise
Akhenaten the Wise

Whoa, down racist.

Perry de Havilland

Really? How do you figure that? Did I stray over some gonzo line of political correctness visible only to Americans? ;-)


Who gives a shit. Seriously. There is already a Japanese version of this film, so people can watch it if they want. This is the Hollywood version, which means big budget, big risk, and they will use a known quantity Hollywood actress who can carry a film. That is a pretty short list, and ScarJo is on it. Kudos to her. Its a business decision, not a race one. The only color that matters in Hollywood is green, and if you can’t pull the green, you won’t get the lead role. So many japanese films have been remade with white… Read more »

Perry de Havilland

Very true. The Japanese have been doing the same with Shakespeare for a long time too, and there is nothing wrong with that. Throne of Blood is actually awesome.

But personally I doubt SJ can carry a movie like this. She certainly would not have been my choice.

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