Should a Japanese actor replace Scarlett Johansson?

Wow, I’m seeing some harsh opinions about the upcoming Ghost in the Shell live action movie and it’s not even complete yet. There are complaints of “white washing” and that a Japanese actor (famous or a complete unknown) should play the role of the Major instead of Scarlett Johansson. Err… whaaaat?!

I understand people can be passionate about what they like, I get that, but I respectfully disagree with their opinion. Johansson is a big plus for this movie because, like me, most people will see this movie because of her. If a completely unknown Japanese actor (not Asian because if you cast a Chinese actor, then that’s not really different to casting a white actor) only the fans of the original will see it – which could possibly destroy their career if it flops. I’ve seen the name, Rinko Kikuchi been thrown around quite often, but the fact is, she’s terrible. I couldn’t really understand her in Pacific Rim and maybe she’s better speaking in Japanese, I don’t know. Can you honestly imagine watching another film starring her and pulling in people to the cinema? I certainly can’t after her performance in Pacific Rim. Both these options mean that the movie may not recoup the money spent to produce it. This is a valid concern for investors. If they don’t think they can make a profit, the budget of the movie will be limiting too – which could affect the movie’s quality. So securing a big name like Johansson gives faith to investors and hopefully thereby giving this property the best chance of becoming a good movie.

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We’re talking creative mediums here so why should race matter? Of course if it doesn’t fit the story then we have a problem, but most of the time, I feel as though race shouldn’t matter. Idris Elba as James Bond? Sure! Why not? He doesn’t have to be white. Nick Fury is a black guy? All the comics and cartoons I read he was a white male but Samuel L Jackson does a good Nic Fury. It doesn’t matter, what matters is that they can all do their job – acting.

People are claiming they want a 1:1 movie of the original source material, but they should keep in mind that being the same as the source material doesn’t mean it will be good – *cough*Watchmen*cough*. Deviate too much and it’ll be crap (Dragonball). There needs to be compromises for a movie to work, just look at Edge of Tomorrow and the Kenshin live action movies. Both had to make sacrifices to produce a good movie that works.

I personally think Scarlett Johansson is the best thing that could happen for this movie. Give Ghost in the Shell a chance and judge the movie when it’s finally out.

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