Scarlett Johansson drops out of rub and tug

Scarlett Johansson has dropped out of Rub & Tug, the biopic about a transgender Pittsburgh crime boss that sparked an uproar over whether the cisgender actress should play a trans man.

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rub and tug casting controversy

After news broke that Scarlett Johansson would be re-teaming with her Ghost in the Shell director Rupert Sanders for the biopic Rub & Tug, controversy immediately descended on the duo — again.

The Rub and Tug casting controversy is centered on Johansson playing a transmasculine man who became a notorious Pittsburgh crime boss. In response to the backlash, Johansson has released a statement on the controversy — her second in two years following the allegations of “whitewashing” in Ghost in the Shell.

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Rub & Tug movie

Scarlett Johansson is re-teaming with the director of Ghost in the Shell for the true story Rub & Tug. Johansson will play a real-life figure who took on the mafia, all while running a series of illicit massage parlors.

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Ghost In The Shell spoiler review

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Rupert Sanders’ Ghost in the Shell.)

Ghost in the Shell sometimes feels more preoccupied with how characters are framed than what they’re doing and saying. They usually look and sound fantastic, but rarely do they register as real flesh and blood in director Rupert Sanders‘ adaptation of the classic manga and anime. Ghost in the Shell is a distancing movie never quite as humane as its themes.

Below, check out our Ghost in the Shell spoiler review.

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Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell may come up short on humanity, but the early reviews suggest director Rupert Sanders‘ live-action remake of Mamoru Oshii‘s 1995 manga adaptation is satisfying eye candy. Some reviews note that the film features another exceptional performance from Scarlett Johansson, although some of the movie’s critics write that the script holds her back a little. Sanders’ second feature may lack a heart and a sturdy third act, but by most accounts, it overcomes some of its problems with style.

Now, let’s take a look at the reviews themselves.

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Ghost In The Shell opening scene

Snow White and the Huntsman isn’t the most lively adventure movie – it’s fairly serious and has a certain grit that, tonally, is quite distancing. Director Rupert Sanders seems to be going for a dour tone once again with his second feature, but it may actually suit the live-action take on Ghost in the Shell. Like the trailer featuring yet another sad cover of a terrific song (“Enjoy the Silence”), the first five minutes of the film are a bit on the grim and solemn side.

Watch it below and see if you agree.

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ghost in the shell clip

At the very least, perhaps we can expect the upcoming Ghost in the Shell to be mostly pleasing to the eyes and ears. Director Rupert Sanders has exhibited a sharp eye in his commercial work and even his underwhelming directorial debut, Snow White and the Huntsman, looked great. Accompanying Sanders’ high-tech futuristic eye candy is a score from none other than Clint Mansell (Moon). Their work hand-in-hand could be quite an experience on the big screen. Whether the movie is as good as some of the talent involved, including the film’s star, Scarlett Johansson, we’ll know next week.

In the meantime, we can watch this new Ghost in the Shell clip, which showcases an action scene from the film.

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Ghost in the Shell trailer

While Marvel continues to hem and haw about giving Scarlett Johansson her own solo superhero movie, Paramount’s swooped in and made her the centerpiece of her very own would-be sci-fi action franchise. She stars as the Major in Ghost in the Shell, a new live-action adaptation of the classic Japanese manga. With director Rupert Sanders behind the camera, the film seems to have no shortage of stunning visuals. But can the rest of the movie live up to those cool designs?

A new Ghost in the Shell trailer offers a bit more story, so you can judge for yourself. Plus: find out what Johansson has to say about the ongoing whitewashing controversy over the casting of this film. Read More »

Ghost in the Shell Trailer - Scarlett Johansson

As I’m not familiar with the original Ghost in the Shell manga or anime, I can only watch the trailers for the new film as a detached observer with no real stake. For example, I can note that the first trailer for director Rupert Sanders‘ live-action take starring Scarlett Johansson gives off some serious Blade Runner and RoboCop vibes, mainly because I have no idea whether or not it looks or feels anything like the source material. All I can say is that it sure looks really pretty.

And as you’d expect, the new Ghost in the Shell Super Bowl spot that just arrived (because why wait for the actual game?) looks awfully pretty, too.

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Ghost in the Shell Trailer Comparison

Last weekend, the first trailer for the live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell arrived. Not all fans of the original anime are excited to see how director Rupert Sanders brings the original story to life on the big screen with Scarlett Johansson, but there were also plenty less familiar with the anime who were impressed or at least more curious after seeing the trailer.

Whether you’re familiar with the Ghost in the Shell or not, you might be interested to see how the footage in the live-action trailer compares to the anime, and a new video does just that.

Watch the Ghost in the Shell trailer comparison after the jump. Read More »