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Scarlett Johansson officially signs on to star in Ghost in the Shell

01.05.2015

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At this point, Scarlett Johansson has more than proved herself in the action arena with films like AVENGERS and LUCY, all while delivering the dramatic goods in pictures like HER and UNDER THE SKIN. If you ask me, that makes her ripe for the lead role in the live-action GHOST IN THE SHELL film to be directed by RUPERT SANDERS (SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN). We had reported back in October that Johannson was offered the lead and fortunately for us, it looks like the dotted line has been signed. For those unfamiliar, the story follows that of a cyborg heroine (Johansson) who's tasked to hunt down a hacker known as The Puppet Master, only to be caught in a web of political intrigue.

I know people are pretty iffy about live-action iterations of popular anime, but Johansson is a phenomenally charismatic actor who will no doubt carry the film with flying colors. As for director Rupert Sanders, he proved he has an eye for visual aesthetics, so perhaps a pairing with the right story will yield some fantastic results. In any case, now that the lead has been nailed (so to speak), the rest of the cast shouldn't be too far behind.

Rupert Sanders' GHOST IN THE SHELL will shoot sometime in 2015.

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9:32AM on 01/07/2015
I'm not a big Johansson fan, I think she's completely overrated. Having said that, I actually think she works for this role. I'm actually looking forward to this movie.
I'm not a big Johansson fan, I think she's completely overrated. Having said that, I actually think she works for this role. I'm actually looking forward to this movie.
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7:27AM on 01/07/2015

sheateee

Me: "Remember Dragon Ball The Shit Movie when it was made with hollywood style?"

Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer: "I'm trying to forget it!"
Me: "Remember Dragon Ball The Shit Movie when it was made with hollywood style?"

Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer: "I'm trying to forget it!"
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1:17PM on 01/06/2015
Eight years from now, they'll remake this with a black actress in the main role.
Eight years from now, they'll remake this with a black actress in the main role.
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3:18PM on 01/06/2015
I thought Scarlett Johansson was a black actress. Badum dum.
I thought Scarlett Johansson was a black actress. Badum dum.
9:17AM on 01/06/2015

Meh. I'm gonna go ahead and pray this dosen't go the way of "Aeon Flux"...Just because scarlett is decent in action films dosen't mean she's fit for the role. Besides, I always looked at Ghost in the shell as more than just an "action" type film, if they can't portray the philosophies and metaphors behind the anime films correctly they are gonna end up with a serious dud in my book

Meh. I'm gonna go ahead and pray this dosen't go the way of "Aeon Flux"...Just because scarlett is decent in action films dosen't mean she's fit for the role. Besides, I always looked at Ghost in the shell as more than just an "action" type film, if they can't portray the philosophies and metaphors behind the anime films correctly they are gonna end up with a serious dud in my book
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8:39AM on 01/06/2015
There's a risk that this will become a Scarlett Johannson film more than a decent live-action adaptation of an important and influential animé movie. They've made a choice to have a star in the lead role instead of a talented (relative) unknown actress (possibly surrounded with name actors). In the end that makes the casting seem more like a monetary decision than one that necessarily benefits the film's content. These decisions get made all the time, and are more often than not the line
There's a risk that this will become a Scarlett Johannson film more than a decent live-action adaptation of an important and influential animé movie. They've made a choice to have a star in the lead role instead of a talented (relative) unknown actress (possibly surrounded with name actors). In the end that makes the casting seem more like a monetary decision than one that necessarily benefits the film's content. These decisions get made all the time, and are more often than not the line between a film being made or not. If you want a big budget live action version of Ghost In The Shell, then it was always likely that a "bankable" star would be involved.
If the film is still set in futuristic Hong Kong there's every reason to accept a non Asian woman might be part of a cyber police force there. I won't write off the film without seeing something from it, even if a more faithful adaptation would have been nice - realistically this was always the most likely scenario.
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+1
7:55AM on 01/06/2015
So if she should be Japanese, then the entire cast should be as well, and it should take place in Japan (just like the Manga). If taking place in Japan they should not speak English, so the entire movie should be subtitled.
So if she should be Japanese, then the entire cast should be as well, and it should take place in Japan (just like the Manga). If taking place in Japan they should not speak English, so the entire movie should be subtitled.
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10:36PM on 01/05/2015

idk

I just don't know if Hollywood is gonna be able to tackle the story properly. While I do think whitewashing is a serious problem in Hollywood, I can appreciate the fact that the studio would rather put up someone more bankable than a relative unknown. Also, there needs to be a real distinction that race changing and whitewashing are DRAMATICALLY different things. It's not about being PC (gasp) or oversensitive. Non-white characters are severely underrepresented in the West and when whitewashing
I just don't know if Hollywood is gonna be able to tackle the story properly. While I do think whitewashing is a serious problem in Hollywood, I can appreciate the fact that the studio would rather put up someone more bankable than a relative unknown. Also, there needs to be a real distinction that race changing and whitewashing are DRAMATICALLY different things. It's not about being PC (gasp) or oversensitive. Non-white characters are severely underrepresented in the West and when whitewashing occurs it slowly eats away at what little ground and progress has and can be made towards diversification and ethnic representation. It's a cultural colonialism that requires more respect and insight than just a passing piss and moan from the protected majority.

However, they do have the benefit of this all being based in Sci-Fi. If they are sticking with ScarJo I would hope they at least have the decency to fully shift the setting and story to the West. Like Akira, these stories are distinctively Japanese and not just in names but in themes and execution. One can not separate the ethnicity from the story as it exists and it would be refreshing for them to just overhaul the story and focus more on the universal themes to create something new informed by the source material.

I'm probably giving way more thought to this though than anyone at the studio so...blah...
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8:41PM on 01/05/2015

Stop complaining

Yes, she is not Asian. These studios are about money, do you think Jamie Chung (or the other 2 Asian actresses anyone would ever notice) would bring in the audience Scarjo will? If that was the case, this would be some straight to VOD movie that you would bitch about even more.
Yes, she is not Asian. These studios are about money, do you think Jamie Chung (or the other 2 Asian actresses anyone would ever notice) would bring in the audience Scarjo will? If that was the case, this would be some straight to VOD movie that you would bitch about even more.
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6:28PM on 01/05/2015

I like Scarlett, but...

I'm kind of getting tired of articles completely glossing over the fact that the Asian character is getting pushed aside for a white actress. What, there are no Asian movie stars?....Well, how do you expect to ever have any if they're never given a chance. I'm Asian and I don't even mind white actors replacing Asian fictional characters, but I do have a problem with the double standard. Unless I'm missing the news about John Cho being the next Bond or Superman?
I'm kind of getting tired of articles completely glossing over the fact that the Asian character is getting pushed aside for a white actress. What, there are no Asian movie stars?....Well, how do you expect to ever have any if they're never given a chance. I'm Asian and I don't even mind white actors replacing Asian fictional characters, but I do have a problem with the double standard. Unless I'm missing the news about John Cho being the next Bond or Superman?
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+0
6:22PM on 01/05/2015

No

1. she's not asian
2. she's over rated (she's horrible) shooting a gun in marvel, doesn't mean she can pull off playing Motoko Kusanagi
3. All Asian manga is all about story, not action (this will be the opposite)
4. This will yet be another failure of trying to adapt Japanese Animation to Hollywood
1. she's not asian
2. she's over rated (she's horrible) shooting a gun in marvel, doesn't mean she can pull off playing Motoko Kusanagi
3. All Asian manga is all about story, not action (this will be the opposite)
4. This will yet be another failure of trying to adapt Japanese Animation to Hollywood
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+0
5:48PM on 01/05/2015

Adapt the Magna

For me, I only enjoyed the first two movies. Didn't care for the series at all
For me, I only enjoyed the first two movies. Didn't care for the series at all
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+0
4:30PM on 01/05/2015
what? double post
what? double post
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+0
4:30PM on 01/05/2015
This will probably just be an Aeon Flux update, light on story heavy on action. Too bad, this is a great series.

I will give it a chance
This will probably just be an Aeon Flux update, light on story heavy on action. Too bad, this is a great series.

I will give it a chance
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5:47PM on 01/05/2015
Aeon flux update is exactly the reason Im gonna go ahead and pass...
Aeon flux update is exactly the reason Im gonna go ahead and pass...
4:12PM on 01/05/2015
ScarJo sucks hopefully this gets her away from Marvel.
ScarJo sucks hopefully this gets her away from Marvel.
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4:44PM on 01/05/2015
I could not agree more. She is highly overrated in my opinion. And she's not even hot anymore. At least she had that going for her when she first started.
I could not agree more. She is highly overrated in my opinion. And she's not even hot anymore. At least she had that going for her when she first started.
+0
3:58PM on 01/05/2015
The problem with adapting GitS is that it's a very heavy series. There's a lot of philosophy and deep exploration of the relationship between man and machine that goes into the series. Hollywood has a hard time looking beyond the shallow elements to explore these kinds of adaptations in the way they need to be explored to give the film or series the context and depth it needs. I fear this will end up being another shallow adaptation that is only focused on action and an easy plot that will take
The problem with adapting GitS is that it's a very heavy series. There's a lot of philosophy and deep exploration of the relationship between man and machine that goes into the series. Hollywood has a hard time looking beyond the shallow elements to explore these kinds of adaptations in the way they need to be explored to give the film or series the context and depth it needs. I fear this will end up being another shallow adaptation that is only focused on action and an easy plot that will take away from everything meaningful in the series.
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3:16PM on 01/05/2015
I'm fine with her being the lead, she's great but GITS will be a hard live action film to make, well see but I'd be in a lie if I said I wasn't skeptical.
I'm fine with her being the lead, she's great but GITS will be a hard live action film to make, well see but I'd be in a lie if I said I wasn't skeptical.
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3:06PM on 01/05/2015
I'm skeptical as to whether they pull this off. Akira has been in development hell for nearly a decade despite the tippy top of A-list actors, writers and directors being attached at various points. I'll be surprised if this movie really happens. Hope for the studio's sake she doesn't have a pay or play deal. Somehow I see them paying her $20 million for a movie that never actually gets made...
I'm skeptical as to whether they pull this off. Akira has been in development hell for nearly a decade despite the tippy top of A-list actors, writers and directors being attached at various points. I'll be surprised if this movie really happens. Hope for the studio's sake she doesn't have a pay or play deal. Somehow I see them paying her $20 million for a movie that never actually gets made...
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+1
2:42PM on 01/05/2015
I'm not crazy about scar jo landing the role, something about her doesn't draw me in, oh well. As long as they don't call her Motoko Kusanagi, just Americanize the whole team and change the setting.
I'm not crazy about scar jo landing the role, something about her doesn't draw me in, oh well. As long as they don't call her Motoko Kusanagi, just Americanize the whole team and change the setting.
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2:32PM on 01/05/2015

Americanized?

Im hard pressed to call something white-washed if its produced in America. It's a fictional world, none of these characters are based on real people and their race never plays a part in their story. Why does it matter if the actors playing the characters are white, especially since this is an American production where the majority is white. I really wouldnt care if it was an Asian actress, or even a Black or Hispanic, as long as it's a good actress. I didn't care that "The Last Airbender" used
Im hard pressed to call something white-washed if its produced in America. It's a fictional world, none of these characters are based on real people and their race never plays a part in their story. Why does it matter if the actors playing the characters are white, especially since this is an American production where the majority is white. I really wouldnt care if it was an Asian actress, or even a Black or Hispanic, as long as it's a good actress. I didn't care that "The Last Airbender" used white actors for their lead, i was just pissed off they used such shitty white actors (also they claimed they werent thinking race but then cast the entire earth kingdom as chinese and the entire fire nation as middle eastern, come on thats racist).

it's a freaking cartoon, a damn good one but still, its all fictional. I would side with you if they continued to have it set in Japan and still use white actors, but i have a feeling this is gonna be american set. Remember, Asia will watch american movies, but when was the last time an Asian film placed in the top 10 in America.
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2:28PM on 01/05/2015
Okay so if Scarlett can play Major Motoko Kusanagi,I propose a deer to play the next James Bond.
Okay so if Scarlett can play Major Motoko Kusanagi,I propose a deer to play the next James Bond.
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2:23PM on 01/05/2015
Hopefully it's better then the disappointing Lucy.
Hopefully it's better then the disappointing Lucy.
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+3
2:18PM on 01/05/2015
Ghost is my favorite anime (i own all the movies and shows) and I love ScarJo - however, i think she may be getting a bit overused. I think this could've gone to somone new. But I guess they needed her name to get people into the theatre.
Ghost is my favorite anime (i own all the movies and shows) and I love ScarJo - however, i think she may be getting a bit overused. I think this could've gone to somone new. But I guess they needed her name to get people into the theatre.
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2:20PM on 01/05/2015
Why couldn't they get one of the many up and coming Japanese females to lead?
Why couldn't they get one of the many up and coming Japanese females to lead?
3:33PM on 01/05/2015
Why couldn't you name an up-and-coming Japanese lead who would do a better job? Because I'm not acquainted enough with modern Japanese cinema (or are you talking Japanese-American?) to think of one, and Hollywood probably isn't either.
Why couldn't you name an up-and-coming Japanese lead who would do a better job? Because I'm not acquainted enough with modern Japanese cinema (or are you talking Japanese-American?) to think of one, and Hollywood probably isn't either.
2:17PM on 01/05/2015

Welp this doesn't stand a chance.

Once again we are getting an Americanized version of a famous manga/anime.

They couldn't even get an Asian actress to play Kusanagi.

I hope this projects burns and dies quickly. We don't need a GitS live action movie. We can only tarnish their reputations by making this shit.
Once again we are getting an Americanized version of a famous manga/anime.

They couldn't even get an Asian actress to play Kusanagi.

I hope this projects burns and dies quickly. We don't need a GitS live action movie. We can only tarnish their reputations by making this shit.
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2:19PM on 01/05/2015
You may be right!
You may be right!
8:59PM on 01/05/2015
WAH!!!!!!!!...........{sniffle}
WAH!!!!!!!!...........{sniffle}
+1
2:17PM on 01/05/2015
I have no idea how they are going to turn this into a movie, but ScarJo as lead is a good start. Loved the anime, but like I said, can't really see it as a movie. Would rather have a Black Widow/Hawkeye team up movie instead.
I have no idea how they are going to turn this into a movie, but ScarJo as lead is a good start. Loved the anime, but like I said, can't really see it as a movie. Would rather have a Black Widow/Hawkeye team up movie instead.
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2:19PM on 01/05/2015
False. ScarJo is white and the character is supposed to be Japanese. There is no way this is headed anywhere near the right direction.
False. ScarJo is white and the character is supposed to be Japanese. There is no way this is headed anywhere near the right direction.
9:00PM on 01/05/2015
Or maybe you're just a little too concerned with being politically correct. Seriously, you're just as bad as the whiners saying that Michael Jordan can't be Johnny Storm.
Or maybe you're just a little too concerned with being politically correct. Seriously, you're just as bad as the whiners saying that Michael Jordan can't be Johnny Storm.
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