I'm turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so.
Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures' live-action film adaptation of Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell mange series has been heavily-criticized for casting Scarlett Johansson (Captain America: Civil War) and other actors in the lead roles instead of going with thespians of Asian descent.
According to Screen Crush, the studios were so concerned by the criticism that they toyed with the idea of digitally altering Johansson's appearance.
Screen Crush reports: "According to multiple independent sources close to the project, Paramount and DreamWorks commissioned visual effects tests that would’ve altered Scarlett Johansson in post-production to 'shift her ethnicity' and make the Caucasian actress appear more Asian in the film."
They go on to name Lola VFX, a visual effects company known for giving actors digital plastic surgery to appear younger and/or thinner, as the studio that carried out these tests. However, after the test "were developed and reviewed, the idea was rejected immediately."
When they reached out to Paramount for comment, the studio responded that there was some truth to the story. "A test was done related to a specific scene for a background actor which was ultimately discarded," the official statement reads. "Absolutely no visual effects tests were conducted on Scarlett’s character and we have no future plans to do so."
Screen Crush double-downed on their claim, adding, "Our sources maintain Johansson’s character was specifically the focus of these tests, though they were done without her participation or knowledge."
Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, Ghost in the Shell follows the Major (Scarlett Johansson), a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.
The cast also includes Beat Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouelet, Michael Pitt as Kuze, Pilou Asbæk as Batou, and Kaori Momoi. The members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara and Tuwanda Manyimo.
Snow White and the Huntsman helmer, Rupert Sanders, is directing.
Ghost in the Shell will be released in the U.S. on March 31, 2017.
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