Scarlett Johansson to Star in Ghost in the Shell Live-Action Film

vagabondwillsmile

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Kurt Cristal said:
vagabondwillsmile said:
fix-the-spade said:
Cans of whitewash still experiencing strong sales in Hollywood...

However, if it must be whitewashed they could do a lot worse than casting The Black Widow as Major Kusanagi, begs the question who will play Batou and Togusa, I always pictured Batou as European simply because he looks European, but Togusa not so much.

I can't help but think that Hollywood will shy away from the heavier themes in GitS and that the film will suffer from it.
One thing I will say on the issue of race in asian comics and animation being adapted by Hollywood and its almost inevitable (and stupid) white-washing: It IS common for many characters in any given work to have hair colors and skin tones to indicate indeterminate race. So, often, they could just as easily - in live action - be played by people of asian, anglo-saxon, latin, hebrew, middle-eastern, mixed, etc. ethnicities (of course it doesn't work if culture and ethnicity is central to the message of the story though, which is part of why the live-action dump of Nickalodeon's Avataar was such a shit-show...). Kiki's Dilivery Service from Miyazaki could very well be in a place like Amsterdam and played entirely by European actors. BUT there ARE often indicators in Asian stories that would lead to the characters being thought of as specifically Japanese, Korean, Chinese, etc. Character names, locations, cultural idiosyncrasies, etc. can all indicate a character's implied ethnicity and culture regardless of cell color used to represent their skin. Certainly, this is the case with GitS. The appearance is of indeterminate race/ethnicity/culture. BUT we all know they are Japanese. And out of respect to the nation and culture of origine it would be nice for Hollywood to cast accordingly! If Speilberg was truly a fan, he would understand this! White-washing does a disservice to the source material.

And yeah - the GitS film was actually plenty watered-down from the manga anyway. They won't even touch the heavy stuff in the film or manga, and certainly not the manga's comedy (ex. the pranks the squad pulls, the funny tachikomas, Kusanagi telling off her superiors and making them punch themselves via hack, body swaps...). The Hollywood adaptation, considering Hollywood's track record with these things, is bound to be token, Hollywood action cyber-shclock, and will probably try to out-mood the GitS animated film, which is... pretty damn dark and moody.
I agree and disagree here. Consider for a moment that Motoko is 95% cyborg, meaning her body was sculpted. Even if she is racially Japanese, its up to her what 'shell' of a body she chooses to put her brain into. In this sense, Motoko can be 100% japanese mentally, and just happen to have Scarlett Johansson's body. Same goes for the rest of the cast, they're all cyberized to some degree so as far as this specific adaptation, really, the characters can be whatever race they feel like, with the exception of Togusa, who's minimally cyberized AND definitively Japanese.

As for fans of the series, anyone else with me on this next bit? I'd like to see the main villain be an adaptation of Kazundo Gouda. He villains it up to 11 by appearance alone and I'd love to see a live adaptation include him.
Yah - actually I had considered that- and I'm with your logic. The other exceptions would definitely be Cheif Aramaki, and the director - another possible exception could be Ishikawa. He's more heavily augmented than Togusa, but less-so than Batou, Borma, Pazu, or Saito. It's weird though, I guess in the original comic and the 1.5 shorts (which are excellent) I thought of her as physically Japanese. Especially considering she was full-cyborg since childhood, I pictured her body choices as being generally non-descript Japan-centric so she would fit in to general society as she developed and for her profession. Then in the animated film, she seemed more indeterminate / ambiguous as to her ethnicity, partly atributed to the character design. Her childhood/past was never a part of the animated film either. There is this neat moment in the film (NOT A SPOILER SO IT'S OK), about mid-way, when she sees a completely random person with what is implied as being a body mold identical to her own. And in GitS SAC I definitely though of her as unambiguously Japanese, largely based on style and character design.

And it just occured to me as I was writing, that in the second comic series, she has a whole stock of bodies that she uses sometimes directly, sometimes as extensions, for different purposes. And these bodies have different features, body types/sizes, and even skin colors indicating a range of physical origins from possibly Irish to possibly Black. But as that story takes place long after the Pupeteer case and her epiphany, as her persona/psyche became more diverse - so did her activities, needs, and body choices.

So much of GitS thematically is about identity, life, definitions, and all the ambiguity thereof, that to cast Johansson isn't a terrible choice. And because of those themes this story kind of does fall into exception to the rule territory (though not to the same extent as Kiki's Delivery Service - in Holland or the foothills of the Alps). It's just dissappointing that, where this could go either way, this is the way it went. It's predictable. Right or wrong aside, given the choice we all know the choice Hollywood will make. But again that's just my personal feeling. These questions of race, appropriation, and source are just so complex. But I'm enjoying this discussion. :)

But here is a REALLY tough question though:: if her full-cyberization was to be interpreted as her character being totally ambiguous physically, would we all cry foul much harder and louder if an acterss of a certain other specific race was cast to play her? Would we back-track and say, "She deffinitely isn't this!"? If so, what does that say about our leniency in one direction and maybe not in another when the logic behind that leniency can be applied equally accross the board. I will admit, I would still object. And I don't know what that says about me; but I can acknowledge it.

And yes, Gouda is BAMF villain James Bond style for sure, and I would be so down for that.
 

DarkhoIlow

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I'm sorry if this sounds offensive, but why the hell they trying to remake perfection? And "americanize" (not a word I know but you get what I mean) it.

We all know this isn't going to work and I cannot be sold on this since all the anime I watch is with japanese dub (aka the original and how it should be watched).

Remember when people said that "Michael Bay ruined my childhood" with the new TMNT? This is similar in that regard for me after seeing this franchise getting that treatment.
 

LetalisK

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WanderingFool said:
Awww Dammit... I like her in the role of Black Widow, and she can probably pull off a the major, but just the idea of "Live-action GitS" disgusts me...
Really? Because the anime disgusts me. Not in a snooty way, but in the queasy way when someone's arms start ripping out of their sockets in graphic detail when pulling a tank apart. I think I would actually like GitS if I could ever get over that. I think a sanitized GitS might be right up my alley.
 

P-89 Scorpion

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Caramel Frappe said:
Remember when America tried taking certain popular shows / games and tried making movies out of them?

Dragon Ball Z, Resident Evil, Avatar the Last Airbender, ect as live action movies. .. .. did they work out? Were they any good?

First, Avatar is an American property it's not an anime.

Second, Go watch Edge of Tomorrow based on a Japanese manga and light novel,
 

Shinkicker444

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On the one hand, YAY! Ghost in the Shell movie... On the other hand, Hollywood...

I think Scarlett can do the whole cyborg thing, but not casting Rinko Kikuchi or someone similar is a bit of a crime. It seems like they're using her because recognisable name will bring in more people and because they don't think they can do a good job. A near future setting should be possible for Hollywood to do, they have done it before, but to get the nuance of GitS... I really don't know.
 

Hebby

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The problem isn't Scarlett Johansson. Far from it. I like her. Decent actor. The problem is the "from game to movie adaption" which in Hollywood doesn't have the greatest track record. I remain skeptical with a little dash of hope.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Paradoxrifts said:
I'm still waiting on James Cameron to deliver on the promise of a live-action Battle Angel Alita. Hollywood's record at adapting anime into live-action movies is abysmal.
Not true. They have Dragonba..., Avatar the..., You know what? I think I'll quit while I'm ahead.

So we have Ghost in the Shell and Death Note coming up, I think their problem is they have a tendency to oversimplify the more complex subtleties of the original works.
 

Thaluikhain

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Johnny Novgorod said:
Ugh, by the guy who boinked his lead actress in Snow White? Well, he certainly has his priorities in check...
Huh...first time I've heard people condemn him, not her for that.
 

MatParker116

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As far as the setting and story go they actually travel incredibly easy. Just call the US city New Port and replace every agency with either the US Army or the CIA and little actually changes.
 

laggyteabag

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Well, I like Scarlett Johansson as an actor, so that ticks that box, although I would have preferred an Asian actress overall, but it is not too much of a concern. However, the director of "Snow White and the Huntsman" is. A film with an outstanding score of 6/10 on IMDB and 48% on Rotten Tomatoes? I don't know man. If they insist on doing a live action adaption of an anime, can we at least get a quality director this time around? Last thing we want is another The Last Airbender/ Dragonball Evolution quality film.
 

Casual Shinji

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VanQ said:
Did we really need another Hollywood anime adaptation? They couldn't manage to properly adapt DBZ which is about as brainless and easy as a series can come and they think they can pull of GiTS? Yeah right.
Dragon Ball Z easy to adapt? You mean the series set in a futuristic utopia that inexplicably has anthropomorphic characters running around, King Kongs from space that can blow up entire planets with their laser breath, and some dudes just living in the clouds?

...

Yeah, how could that live-action adaptation have possibly gone wrong.
 

Rellik San

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Paragon Fury said:
Rellik San said:
I'm interested, as frankly this casting choice is the least interesting part about this movie: Also consider this: Say the plot requires two actresses to play the Major one for scenes in Japan and Johansson for the main part of the movie, with the plot being Section 9 is called in for covert anti-cyber terrorism ops State side hackers have been targetting Japan, so they send the Major in a new body to go and investigate undercover.

This results in her questioning her own identity as the film goes on, with her inner ghost no longer matching her outer shell, resulting in psychological breaks she eventually has to over come to solve the case.

Sounds pretty in line with the themes of the original works if you ask me.
Thing is the Major has been shown to be fairly adaptable at ease with hacking and possessing other bodies if need be. It doesn't really cause her any distress or issues.
Granted, but for months at a time?

Also puppeteering a body and knowing it's your choice when you leave it is a whole other matter to having your brain case shifted into a whole new body and living as that body for months on end to infiltrate a group. Also we don't know when exactly this film will be set and what materials it will be taking inspiration from for the adaptation. Remember technically nothing in GitS actually forms a canon they are all stand alone series.

As an aside, this is for all intents and purposes a Cyber Punk film, not too dissimilar from Blade Runner and the works of William Gibson. This isn't some grand conceptual show rooted firmly in Japanese mythology, so I'm willing to give Hollywood the benefit of a doubt with this and see what happens.
 

Aiddon_v1legacy

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Johansson is a TERRIBLE choice for the Major. Second, the production team is your typical, hack posse. This is not going to go over well. It'll just be neutered in terms of content and depth, it'll just be boring, and Hollywood will continue to not adapt to a changing world. Because that's the BIG thing; you'd think they would stop doing this what with Asia becoming a bigger presence in the international market. A lot of films that have underperformed domestically have been able to be very successful overseas, especially in Asia such as Pacific Rim. They kinda need to start diversifying and letting Asian actors have a chance if they really want to tap that market.
 

Toilet

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MatParker116

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Toilet said:
Given how the Major isn't confined to one body who to say she won't be the Major by the end of the film.
 

tzimize

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Rawbeard said:
nooooooooooooooooo! both for Scarlett "blonde Fran Dresher" Johansson and Hollywood GitS (without the future, or cyborgs, or boobs, or any quistions about the human nature or society, because they will just use some random script and call it GitS and change some names. Probably a discarded Paranormal Activity scrit, because they have read the word Ghost in the title).
Er...blonde...er...what? Fran Dresher? I er...huh?

Also: Yeah, I dont need Scarlett in the lead neither but nor would I mind it. Dont have that close of a relationship to GitS.
 

jFr[e]ak93

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Marter said:
Let's just not complain about Johansson starring and instead complain about Rupert Sanders directing.

That's the problem with the film thus far. ;=D
This. Speilburg was originally going to. I was excited. This guy... AH. Say what you will about Speilburg being overly sentimental, but the guy knows how to make a movie.

Rupert Sanders on the other hand... not as optimistic.

I'd rather the Wachowski Brothers (er... siblings) take a crack at it.
 

Kaimax

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Casual Shinji said:
VanQ said:
Did we really need another Hollywood anime adaptation? They couldn't manage to properly adapt DBZ which is about as brainless and easy as a series can come and they think they can pull of GiTS? Yeah right.
Dragon Ball Z easy to adapt? You mean the series set in a futuristic utopia that inexplicably has anthropomorphic characters running around, King Kongs from space that can blow up entire planets with their laser breath, and some dudes just living in the clouds?

...

Yeah, how could that live-action adaptation have possibly gone wrong.
Well, the Chinese Knock-off (Dragonball: The Magic Begins) did a better job at being faithful than the Hollywood one. Keep in mind, that this is just the Regular Dragon Ball, not Dragon Ball Z.

 

AstaresPanda

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No, just no. What just coz she has been kinda kicking ass in recent avengers and lucy. ? She does not fit to me. And thats pretty much destroyed the idea of this movie that and the director who did SnowWhite and the HUntsman OoOoOoOoOoOoOo. Dead.

Rinko Kikuchi ?

or just raid the cast of Marco Polo. Scarlett Johansson is just popular with geeks right now due to comic books roles, its so transparent its annoying.