Ghost in the Shell director Rupert Sanders has defended the decision to cast American actor Scarlett Johansson ahead of an Asian actor in the lead role of the upcoming science-fiction thriller.
Sanders and Johansson were in Tokyo on Sunday to treat fans to the first viewing of the official two-minute trailer from the live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga and anime franchise, with co-star Takeshi Kitano also taking the stage.
Johansson plays a special-ops cyborg policewoman called ‘The Major’, who leads task force Section 9 as they try to bring down an evil computer hacker.
Manga and anime fans went online to accuse film producers of “whitewashing” the original Japanese character from the source material, but filmmaker Sanders said the Lost in Translation actor was an obvious choice.
“I stand by my decision, she’s the best actress of her generation and I was flattered and honoured that she would be in this film,” Sanders said, adding it was an international film with actors from all over.
The film, which also stars Dane Pilou Asbaek, Frenchwoman Juliette Binoche and Japanese duo Rila Fukushima and Kaori Momoi, begins its global rollout in late March.
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