Skip Nav
LGBTQ Pride Essays POPSUGAR Australia
30 People Reflect on What Pride Means to Them
Red Carpet
Miley and Liam Aren't Avengers, but They Looked Marvelous at the Endgame Premiere
Prince William and Kate Middleton's Wedding Vows
The Royals
The 1 Change Prince William and Kate Middleton Made to Their Wedding Vows
Britney Spears Addresses Rumours About Treatment April 2019
Celebrity Instagrams
Britney Spears Addresses Rumours About Her Mental Health Treatment: "All Is Well"
Taylor Swift's 2019 Time 100 Gala Performance Video
Taylor Swift Put on a Mini Concert at the Time 100 Gala and Sang Her Greatest Hits

Why Was Scarlett Johansson Cast in Ghost in the Shell?

Rupert Sanders Defends Casting Scarlett Johansson in "Global" Ghost in the Shell

Sunday night in Toyko, Ghost in the Shell director Rupert Sanders faced questions about the charges of Hollywood whitewashing the movie has sparked. Scarlett Johansson, rather than a Japanese actress, takes on the lead role in the new version of the Japanese classic. At a party to debut the Ghost in the Shell trailer, he defended his approach to remaking the iconic anime as an international retelling with a global cast.

On Why He Chose Johansson For the Role of Major

"I think whenever you cast someone, someone's going to be critical about it. To me . . . I stand by my decision," Sanders said during a Q&A on stage, which followed the debut of the footage. "She's the best actress of her generation, and I was flattered and honoured that she would be in this film. And I think so many of the people around the original anime have been vehemently in support of her because she's incredible, and there are very few like her."

On How He Expects Those Wary of the Casting Will React to the Film

Despite the answer Sanders gave on stage, the director faced even more questions about the reasoning behind his decision — and what efforts he took to achieve the global cast he spoke of — in a huddle with journalists later that night. When asked what it was like to wait to show footage from the movie amid such controversy, he said it was "quite seductive" and seemed assured that he can change the minds of those who are suspect of his approach with the movie itself.

"We knew this time would come, and I think we're quite proud of what we've done and how we've done it. So it wasn't like, 'We've got to get it out there and we're not going to take any more flak.' It's like, it'll come out when it's ready," he said. "Even when we started putting out the little 10-second teasers . . . we started to see when that stuff came out, people were like, ah, maybe there's something in this. And I hope that we see this week, what do people think of it? And how to grow and how to find its place in the zeitgeist."

On Why He Says Casting Johansson Allowed For a More Diverse Cast Overall

Sanders repeatedly praised Johansson's performance throughout the evening but also seemed to suggest that casting her was also a practical decision; one that allowed him to fill the rest of the big-budget film with global stars including Japanese mega-star Takeshi Kitano and French actress Juliette Binoche.

"It's a very international cast, and the beauty of casting [Johansson] was that I kind of didn't have to cast big-name actors around her," he told reporters. "I could cast people like Juliette Binoche and Kaori Mamoi and Takeshi Kitano. You know, that's unusual for a Hollywood film. Usually you need your star and then you need 10 people who can go on the chat shows; [go] beneath them on the poster. But we didn't have that. It was great to be given the freedom to cast the film how you want."

Fans and critics will be able to decide the matter for themselves when Ghost in the Shell hits cinemas in March of 2017.

More from POPSUGAR
From Our Partners
Daniel Portman Quotes About Game of Thrones in Esquire
Anna Wintour Vogue Video on Meghan Markle's Pregnancy Style
Elizabeth Banks Charlie's Angels Interview EW 2019
Bebe Rexha Talks About Her Grammys Dress Video
Chloe Grace Moretz SK-II Bare Skin Chat Interview
Jason Momoa Talks About Emilia Clarke's Health Scare
Khloé, Kourtney, and Kim Kardashian Jimmy Kimmel Live 2019
Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg Jimmy Kimmel Live March 2019
Sterling K. Brown's Impression of A Star Is Born Video
Abigail Spencer Quotes About Meghan Markle March 2019
Billy Eichner Talks About The Lion King March 2019
Kaley Cuoco Interview About Big Bang Theory Series Finale

From Our Partners

Latest Celebrity
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds