Last week, an Internet Ruckus™ erupted following the release of the first image from Rupert Sanders' live-action adaption of Ghost In The Shell. That Internet Ruckus™ developed into a full-on Internet Brouhaha™ just twenty-four hours later, when ScreenCrush revealed that CGI FX tests had been done in an attempt to make Scarlett Johansson appear to be - and I quote - "more Asian".
The outrage seemed to be on the decline this week (par for the course, that), but one suspects there may be another flare-up in the wake of the following:
The original manga, written by Masamune Shirow, was published in 1989 by Kodansha, which licensed it for Mamoru Oshii's seminal 1995 anime feature, a number of Japanese spin-off films and anime series, and most recently for the Hollywood live-action version.
"Looking at her career so far, I think Scarlett Johansson is well cast," Sam Yoshiba, director of the international business division at Kodansha's Tokyo headquarters, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "She has the cyberpunk feel. And we never imagined it would be a Japanese actress in the first place."
Important thing to note here: this is Ghost In The Shell's publisher saying this, not the author. As pointed out by Kotaku, Kodansha began reprinting Masamune Shirow's manga immediately after Hollywood greenlit a live-action adaptation of the book.
One might reasonably say that Yoshiba is entitled to an opinion, and perhaps he really never imagined a Japanese actress headlining a big-budget Ghost In The Shell adaptation. One might also reasonably say that Kodansha does not stand to benefit financially from a Ghost In The Shell adaptation rejected by audiences before it even arrives in theaters.
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