There’s a huge problem at the center of Ghost in the Shell. You already knew that, though. You’ve heard about the whitewashing controversy and the problems of co-opting Asian culture for western audiences. But as bad as you might have heard that whitewashing problem is, it’s even worse. It’s impossible to discuss the movie’s troubled treatment of identity politics without spoiling some big reveals, but before we get into those, there are plenty of other things that make the live-action remake a disappointment.
Back when the Ghost in the Shell casting news was announced, people were understandably confused that Scarlett Johansson would be playing a character whose origins and race, as far as we all knew, were Japanese. Despite protests, production on the movie ensued, and we got our first look at the anime adaptation in a few short teasers a few weeks ago. Now, the director of the original animated Ghost in the Shell films, Mamoru Oshii, has visited the set and seen everything for himself, and it sounds like he’s not upset at all about Johansson’s casting.
Pre-production on Rupert Sanders’ (director of Snow White and the Huntsman) live-action adaptation of the seminal manga series Ghost in the Shell has been moving right along, accumulating cast members and staying right on schedule for a March 31 release in 2017. Scarlett Johansson has already signed on to play the lead role, a skilled female hacker who breaks up cybercrime in the employ of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission’s covert ops unit. Earlier this month, Borgen actor (and Johansson’s former co-star in the mind-bending Lucy) Pilou Asbæk joined the cast as her second-in-command, a lethal fighter in his own right.
Back in October, it was reported that ‘Lucy’ and ‘Avengers 2’ star Scarlett Johansson had been offered $10 million to anchor the new, American (and live-action) version of the classic Japanese anime ‘Ghost in the Shell.’ It took a while for Johansson to decide (“Hm, do I really want $10 million? This is a tough one!”), but Variety now says she’s made up her mind: Johansson will star in the new ‘Ghost’ for director Rupert Sanders.
While Warner Bros. still struggles to get its live-action 'Akira' remake up and running, DreamWorks is moving ahead on an adaptation of another classic anime, 'Ghost in the Shell.' Director Rupert Sanders ('Snow White and the Huntsman') is developing the project with 'Wolf of Wall Street' star Margot Robbie in talks to play the lead.
Though Magna (Japanese comic books) have long been a solid cult industry in America, Hollywood has had no luck so far in bringing those comics to the big screen (for instance: 'Akira'). But that luck may have changed as DreamWorks now has plans to adapt 'Ghost in the Shell' for the big screen, with 'Snow White and the Huntsman' director Rupert Sanders behind the helm.
Universal is going forward with their 'Van Hesling' reboot, and currently have Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman attached as writers and producers, and Tom Cruise attached as the star (and producer... when you're successful, you get to produce your hits). Now it looks like Rupert Sanders' hat is in the ring for the directing gig (no word if he will also get to produce).
Earlier this year, Universal was so high on 'Snow White and the Huntsman' that they hired David Koepp to draft a sequel before the first film was even released. The film ended up doing $154 Million domestic and nearly $400 Million worldwide (on a $170 Million budget), so a sequel made sense. Then it came out that Kristen Stewart and director Rupert Sanders had an affair. And now Koepp has left the