Scarlett Johanssen and Ghost In The Shell

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by SacredWarrior, Apr 17, 2016.

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  1. For those who don't know, there's a new Ghost In The Shell live-action film that's currently in production. But there's a lot of controversy surrounding it.

    Mainly involving the casting of the main character Motoko Kusanagi.

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    Scarlett Johanssen has been chosen for the role obviously. Personally I think Rinko Kikuchi would've been a much better choice. This just seems like another lazy Hollywood live-action film based off of a foreign product and I have a feeling that it'll flop and end up like Dragon Ball Evolution, the live-action Tekken film, and The Last Airbender. Let's not forget the fact that the director's only credit is Snow White and The Huntsman.

    What do you guys think of this film and what are your predictions for it?
     
  2. Scarlett Johansson always seems twitches to me now after watching her in Lucy. I probably won't see the movie, buy everyone's got their panties in a bunch over her casting. I don't know why they're surprised. They're banking on a bug name, that's it. They won't put someone who isn't an A-Lister on the front of it because no one would watch it. (At least that's the way they think.)
     
  3. Yeah that's what bothers me. I wasn't all that surprised either since Hollywood is ALWAYS lazy when it comes to live-action adaptations of anime. But they seem to do pretty well when it comes to video games though. Irony.

    That's a dumb way to think in my opinion because shouldn't their first goal to be to cater to the fans of the anime and manga in the first place? Forget catering to new people who aren't even gonna watch the film anyway.
     
  4. People are far from surprised, just disappointed that it still happens in 2016. I'll just throw these out here as well before taking my leave:

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  5. I have hope for it mainly because of what little I know the director has worked on. Which isn't much, as he's rather obscure. But...



    And directed the recent adaptation "Snow White and the Huntsman."

    I think this has some potential. If anything Scarlett's name is acting as a beacon to get the mainstream audiences attention since Ghost in the Shell's name alone is only going to attract the niche American audience. Same with "Edge of Tomorrow" which is an adaptation of the manga "All You Need is Kill." Tom Cruise's name is slapped on the front and the story is Westernized but turns out to be pretty good under careful direction. Funny considering the director had very little major directing experience in AAA Hollywood movies, almost the same as the director for the live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell.

    So going against my typical cynicism, I have some good hopes for this movie.
     
  6. You took the words out of my mouth. They are so trying to gain more fans, while hopefully satisfying the ones the original movie has now. No, it's not going to please everyone, but chances are, if the movie is good enough, they may gain a whole new fan base. That's my take on it anyway. I don't know enough about the movie to give an opinion on the casting itself, but I can sort of understand the reasoning behind it.
     
  7. Warning: I'm about to rant about something I feel passionately about as both a lover of literature and history. Don't read this if your feelings are easily hurt, because I'm not holding back the punches. Also, when I say the word "you" throughout this, it's a general you, as in "everyone who is reading this." Not as in you, the user, specifically. I know you, you're a smart guy, and I love you in a completely not homo way. Which is why I know you'll be strong enough to read through this and not need me to pamper you like a child. You're a great person.

    Okay, no. This is emotionally stirring, but ultimately one of the stupidest things uttered about the evolution of stories, and the things it calls for are so bafflingly and insanely backward as to be genuinely racist.

    Yes, this won't be the Ghost in the Shell that debuted in the 90's to the tune of Japanese feelings on tech summed up in anime. In the same way that anime is no longer a simple love letter/knock off of Disney, French & German character designs. Is every Japanese fantasy anime with obviously western influences "ruining" or "japaneseifying" fantasy as a whole? Maybe. Is that a bad thing? I don't know. Was it a bad thing when the Japanese stole their entire fucking written language and several cultural motifs from the Chinese? Was it a bad thing when the Japanese adopted western science, western philosophy, western military technology, and western ideas of government?

    We grow as a species when we take ideas from each other and try expressing them or changing them in our own ways. Do you think the Japanese would be nearly so rich a culture if it weren't for their own cultural divides and strifes within their own country and with opposing nations in the same geographical area? Do you think they would be anywhere near as incredible as they are were it not for their obvious influences from (and later, toward) the Koreans? The Chinese? Southern Asia? Hell, the West throughout the 1800's?

    It's not "Hollywood whitewashing" because some fan of Ghost in the Shell wants to write it and star it with a white actress. In the same way that it's not "Anime Japanesewashing" when they decide to make an ostensibly western story or set a story in an ostensibly western genre. Hell, without Japan taking Western influences and stories, these two classic anime stories would not exist.

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    Trigun was a WESTERN for fucks sake. There is no genre on Earth more American than Westerns. If Japan wanted to make a live action version of a spaghetti western that starred DeForest Kelley or Clint Eastwood, but decided to star it with an all asian cast, would anyone who complains about whitewashing complain about it?

    Fuck no.

    They would relish in it like the racist hypocrites that they are.

    If anything, even if this movie bombs and is a complete and horrible disaster, it will expose more people to the mere fact that this franchise exists, and they can then look it up and watch it for themselves, thus potentially causing more people to become fans of an incredible story, and learning more about Japanese culture as a result of the exposure. If the story turns out to be a fantastically well written and composed story, it will potentially create a renaissance period for western and Japanese stories to thrive in the cyberpunk genre. If the story performs well in American markets, it might even inspire another, well funded anime adaptation created by Japanese studios to tell yet another ostensibly Japanese story, because now, they think it might actually sell thanks to their American counterparts taking interest in it.

    It would be a terrible tragedy if western markets took this story and then denied the Japanese the right to ever create it again. That would be intellectual theft and the silencing of an entire culture. That's what we (as in a society) used to do to blacks: We would take black roles and put white people in them with black face paint, because we literally denied blacks the right to even be in those roles. But this isn't that. It's a fucking guy who wants to make a fucking movie based on a Japanese story, who is taking it in his own creative direction. The fact that he didn't star the actress you wanted does not make it racist. The fact that you're angry because Scarlet doesn't reflect the race you want in the role makes you the fucking racist. Nobody is forcing you to watch this against your will. Nobody is preventing the Japanese from making another Ghost in the Shell (or story exactly like Ghost in the Shell set in the same genre as the case of copyright might be). Nobody is violating Japanese culture--it's in no way suppressed by this film starring a fucking white person.

    Now get off your high horse. If you really care about oppressed cultures, go help women in the middle east who get raped and killed for daring to read a book, leave alone write one. Save your anger for things that actually matter, not this. If this is the biggest cultural offense you can find, than that should speak volumes to how far we have progressed from our once incredibly racist culture.

    As for the movie itself? I think it's probably going to be a very piddling, mediocre affair. Kinda happens when you have one culture adopt another culture's ideas and stories and then attempt to mimic them: You get a lot of failures before one of the sparks finally lights the fire of creativity in a way that satisfied everyone.

    Also, if you got through this entire post, and it upset you, I apologize. I don't really want to hurt your feelings, but I do want to stop what is essentially false accusations of racism floating about because of the good ole "it's different now it sucks" mentality. There is so, so much fucking worse things going on right now in terms of racism. Allowing this to cloud our vision when shit like dozens of black Americans being brutally murdered in ghettos every day is fucking insane. It is literally fucking insane. I cannot comprehend it.
     
    #7 Brovo, Apr 17, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
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  8. One of my friends I made back from Grade 9 has been making a lot of critiques about this movies casting choice so far.

    From my understanding the issue is that the story is inherently based on Japan and how it is as a country. So westernising it seems to just completely ignore the premise of the movie.
    It'd be like adding a 'diverse cast' to a movie about the underground rail road, or braveheart, a movie on Genghis Khan, on Auschwitz etc.

    Or if people don't like me using RL examples (get out of your safe space) I can point to another anime, Code Geass.
    The whole point on Code Geass being that it's the story of how Japan as a country was outright annihilated by the British Empire, reduced to a colony and the Japanese efforts to free the country again.
     
  9. Realized I forgot a clarification above.

    I've seen Ghost in the Shell myself, and I personally couldn't give a shit about the casting.
    But that being said, I'm not a big fan of the original movie either, I believe it just has a 6/10 on myAnimelist for me.

    So although I don't personally care about the casting I realize I'm more speaking as an outsider to a fan base whose very passionate.
    Hence I figured I should at least try to explain the position of those who are angry at the casting, especially since the movie does have some focus/direction at Japan and this anger isn't just "Gah! No white people goes near by movie! I hate white people!" but rather "Respect the plot being centred on Japan".
     
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  10. A lot of people seem to think that, since Kusanagi's body looks like a mass-produced model to hide the fact that she's cutting edge, casting ScarJo shouldn't be an issue. ._. That makes me wonder why the fuck Japanese cybernetics firms would mass-produce western-looking bodies for asian markets.
     
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  11. Because the original designer had a white person fetish?
    Because the society itself cared less about race?
    Because this is a different interpretation of the same story, and so, the bot happened to be white because the designer rolled the dice and God made the results a little different?
    Butterfly effect?

    Fuck if I know. I'm not going to judge until I see it.
     
  12. Except that Ghost in the Shell is completely fictional, whereas Genghis Khan and Auschwitz are real things. Even then, if someone wanted to make a story about Auschwitz, but with Japanese people, it would be The Nanking Massacre perfectly fine, so long as they didn't spout it off as being historically accurate. God knows Braveheart was about as historically accurate as a man hip-firing a 50 calibre machine gun after hammering back 20 shots of jack daniels. If white people are allowed to totally fuck up their own history, surely the Japanese are allowed to do so as well.
     
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  13. As a lazy bastard, I for one really appreciate the fact that we apparently don't even have to have watched a movie to judge it anymore. Makes my life so much easier.
     
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  14. Civil War is 10/10 best movie of the year.
     
  15. Giving the benefit of doubt that casting a white woman in an Asian role was for creative reasons, calling that out makes no one racist. The anger and rage stems from years of Hollywood racism. From denying blacks roles and having white actors black-face, to actually having white actors do the same to Asians with yellow-face. Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's, for example. And in this time America is so racially diverse that it pisses people off that it still happens, putting white people in roles of Asian characters. Another example being Benedict Cumberbatch, a white British man, playing one of the most prominent Asians in comics, Doctor Strange. While I do think he's great for the role (The same goes Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen), it's still apart of a bigger issue. It's a representation issue that people are upset about. Media is influential on so many levels and frankly, white people will never what it's like to turn on the TV as a child and never see themselves, to only see racial stereotypes and have no one there to look up to. That's why people are fighting so hard on the issue every time it pops up. So to say it doesn't matter? That's thinking selfishly. It doesn't matter to you because it doesn't effect you or how people view your race. But for colored folks it does, and while there are bigger issues, that doesn't stop lack of representation from being a problem.
     
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  16. I'm not sure about Japan, but in China, pretty much every beauty advertisement has a woman who lightens her skin to look more white, or there is a white woman on them. The Chinese fashion scene is also huge and if you ask why so much of it takes from Western designs and why they're not wearing more of their own culture, you will probably get the answer it's old-fashioned.

    So, when you say Asian markets, I'm pretty sure there'd be demand for it just from China alone.

    As for the topic. I love Ghost in the Shell, it's great. I don't particularly get why people are pissed about Hollywood being a business. Don't like it? Don't support it. Shrug and go watch the old thing for old times' sake. I think the Last Airbender is a great show with a shitty live action movie, but here's the funny thing. While I can vividly remember a lot of these great moments for the cartoon, I've already forgotten exactly what kind of movie it was I walked out of because... It was just a shitty movie. Who cares?

    The more attention you give to something you hate, the more publicity you're giving it. How many people do you think bought the Twilight series just to see how horrible it was or they could be edgelords and burn it on video? Congrats, guess where that money went and guess with what message.

    And I don't even know if this Ghost in the Shell movie will be bad. If it is, well, the major is still going to be pretty hot and you can crack jokes about it for a week or so and then get on with your life.

    Ohwait. Trying to be reasonable.

    Haha.

    Ha.

    I make the stupidest of mistakes.
     
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  17. Yea that's fair.
    I think the anger is more about losing the promise.
    They heard news of the movie, they get excited about it hoping that it's good, and then learn stuff that they feel will ruin it.

    It's kind of like my feelings towards Episode 7. I really wanted it to be good, but a lot of the way Disney was treating the universe made me worried.
    Went to theatres to see the movie, worries confirmed. I'm not going to then suddenly march around and claim "Disney ruined my childhood!" or "You people who liked it just don't understand!".
    But, it's still a blow you know?

    So even if I don't agree with how Ghost in the Shell fans may be handling it, I can understand where they're coming from.
     
  18. So basically, it's just like people who pre-order games are idiots. I just think this is a really stupid thing to whine about. It's entitlement, you see. People get hyped over something of which they don't know what it is but because they give shape to it in their heads they create expectations based on absolutely nothing. When it turns out to be something else than their baseless speculation, you get this shit. Whereas in reality, worst case scenario, you might waste ten bucks on a movie you didn't like. Hardly an arm and a leg. I mean seriously, *insert Justin Timberlake lyrics here*

    It's fun not censoring your opinion sometimes.
     
  19. I just want to know one thing. Why does everyone think the role was just handed to her? Maybe I'm misinformed, but don't actors have to audition for roles? That's how it used to work anyway. An actor might be approached for a project, but in the end, they still have to show that they can actually play the role before the cameras start roling. No one, and I mean NO ONE is going to cast someone because they think the actor might be able to pull it off, and waste hours of filming only to discover before the entire thing gets underway that the actor sucks and they can't pull the role off for shit. That's my take on it anyway. If Scarlett Johanssen got the part, then she obviously stood out from the others who auditioned for it, whether they were Asian, White, or pink with yellow polka dots. Something about her stood out above the others, and that's just how it is. Or at least how it's supposed to be.
     
  20. You're confused. Hollywood is a business and Scarlett's name alone racks up a ton of cash, regardless of her acting abilities. It is worth noting she earned that name through acting, though — and some from her appearance, I guess.
     
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