The news dropped a while ago: in 2017 there will be a live-action-movie of the Japanese SiFi-Anime classic Ghost in the Shell. Which seemed to be joyful breaking news at first, turned out to be quite a shocker (at least to me): DreamWorks has snagged the rights for the adaption. Yeah, that already didn’t sound right. I immediately had to think of Hollywood-made movies like The Ring, 47 Ronin, The Last Airbender, Dragon Ball or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – all movies which should have had better advertisement and been presented to a much broader audience in their original (and native) version. It’s just awful to see how Hollywood white-washes great movies of other countries or worse, misinterprets and misrepresents indigenous topics and culture.
And now it’s Ghost in the Shell‘s turn to be thrown under the bus – no other than Scarlett Johansson is going to play the lead of Motoko Kusanagi. Seriously? I already don’t see Scarlett as a great actress – even though she is the favorite of action movie directors – but how on earth can you cast non-Asians for such a movie? That’s almost as bad as casting Chinese actresses for the geishas in movie The Geisha. It’s just feels so wrong for such an epic movie. I can just imagine how this movie will turn out if the director and script writer stick to the current Scarlet-Johansson-action-movie cinematography: average and typically Hollywood. And it’s not as if there weren’t any Japanese actresses which could handle the role and Hollywood easily. It seems I’m not the only one seeing this white-wash of Asian movies with a deep frown. I found this slide of six possible Japanese Actresses for Ghost in the Shell Lead on the internet. Let’s just hope all my worries were for nothing, or better, a change of cast.
P.S. Steven Spielberg – co-founder of DreamWorks – is a big fan of Ghost in the Shell, so maybe the adaption as such will mett standards.