Rila Fukushima in Ghost in the Shell

DreamWorks adaptation of the anime Ghost in the Shell has come under fire for whitewashing by casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead role as Kusanagi, a cyborg that is a part of an elite cybercrime-fighting task force known as Section 9. However, there will be some Asian talent on board the project in key roles in a poor attempt to heal the wounds left by this increasingly annoying method of casting.

Takeshi Kitano has already been brought in to play Daisuke Aramaki, the chief of Public Security Section 9. Now Japanese actress Rila Fukushima, who had her breakout role as Yukio in The Wolverine back in 2013, has come on board. More below. Read More »

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Ghost in the Shell

Earlier this year Chris Rock caused a minor kerfuffle at the Oscars when he took the stage to take on Hollywood’s mistreatment of black people… only to crack jokes at the expense of Asian people. The tasteless jokes underlined what I think many Asians and Asian-Americans have long suspected: that the push for more “diversity” and “inclusion” in Hollywood does not extend to us. That to them, we aren’t worthy of respect or consideration or even common courtesy.

Last week, two major projects further drove that point home. On Tuesday night, Marvel dropped the first trailer for Doctor Strange, rich in Orientalist undertones and featuring a white woman (Tilda Swinton) as a racebent version of an Asian character. Then on Thursday, Paramount and DreamWorks unveiled the first official still from the anime adaptation Ghost in the Shell, starring another white woman (Scarlett Johansson) as a character named “Motoko Kusanagi” in the source material. Whitewashing is a tradition as old as Hollywood itself. Still, you’d think that after the Oscars misstep, and the Emma Stone in Aloha dustup, and the The Last Airbender and Exodus: Gods and Kings and Pan and Gods of Egypt controversies, Hollywood would have learned its lesson. Doctor Strange and Ghost in the Shell suggest that they most certainly have not.  Read More »

Ghost in the Shell

Marvel may be dragging their feet on a Black Widow solo movie, but Scarlett Johansson‘s already well on her way to sci-fi action stardom. After kicking ass in Luc Besson’s Lucy, she’s got another big genre film on her hands with Ghost in the ShellRupert Sanders‘ live-action adaptation of the iconic Japanese manga. Production on the long-simmering project is finally underway as of this week, and Paramount and DreamWorks have the photo to prove it. Get your Ghost in the Shell first look below.  Read More »

Takeshi Kitano ghost in the shell

Ghost in the Shell stepped in a giant pile of crap the moment it announced that Scarlett Johansson would star in the upcoming American adaptation of the beloved Japanese manga. After all, Hollywood whitewashing is alive and well and still incredibly ugly, so the reaction to the very Caucasian Johansson taking on a character named Motoko Kusanagi in the source material was rightfully (and righteously) brutal.

I don’t want to say that the casting of the great Japanese actor and filmmaker Takeshi Kitano is a direct response to this controversy (although it certainly feels like it), but I will say that Kitano is powerhouse performer and any movie is immeasurably improved by his presence.

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Michael Pitt in Boardwalk Empire

It took several years for Ghost in the Shell, the English-language adaptation of the Japanese manga, to settled on Rupert Sanders to direct, and another year before it landed on Scarlett Johansson to star. In the past few months, though, the project has started to gain some real steam, picking up a new screenwriter, a new co-star, and now a new villain in Michael PittRead More »

‘Ghost in the Shell’ Adds Sam Riley as Villain

Sam Riley in On the Road

After years of development, Ghost in the Shell made some big leaps forward last year when Rupert Sanders signed on to direct and Scarlett Johansson to star. And now that it’s got a spring 2017 date locked in and everything, the project is really picking up steam. Just a couple of weeks ago Pilou Asbæk landed one of the big roles, and now Sam Riley looks likely to play the villain.  Read More »

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Pilou Asbaek in A Hijacking

For a long time, Scarlett Johansson was the only star attached to DreamWorks’ live-action Ghost in the Shell movie. But with an early 2017 release date already on the books, director Rupert Sanders is slowly starting to fill out the cast around her. The first new addition is a familiar face for Johansson: Pilou Asbæk, the Danish actor who starred with her in Lucy. Get character details and more after the jump. Read More »

ghost in the shell writer

DreamWorks originally acquired the film rights to the popular Japanese manga Ghost in the Shell back in 2008 and the project has been a revolving door of writers ever since. However, it began to show signs of life when director Rupert Sanders became attached in early 2014, and it found some proper momentum when Scarlett Johansson accepted the lead role earlier this year. Now, with production set to begin early next year, screenwriter Jonathan Herman has been tasked with rewriting the screenplay.

Find more information on the new Ghost in the Shell writer after the jump.

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Jon Favreau The Jungle Book concept art

Disney just did a small shuffle on their release schedule for the next two years. The biggest addition is Scarlett Johansson‘s Ghost in the Shell, which will be released April 14, 2017. Jon Favreau‘s The Jungle Book, which is currently in production and was supposed to come out in October, has now been moved back to April 15, 2016. And that Pete’s Dragon remake that has been casting? That was slotted in for August 12, 2016. There’s more Disney release date changes below. Read More »