I found out on Facebook and instagram that Scarlett Johansson has just been cast as Motoko Kusanagi in the Ghost in the Shell movie to be produced by DreamWorks.
I am a huge fan of DreamWorks since they make a lot of good movies.
So have other film companies.
As a huge fan of the anime and of Japanese culture, in general, I have seen a lot of the original Japanese movies and I have compared them to their American adaptations and the concensus, so far, has been less than pleasing.
Ghost in the Shell is one of those cult animated classics in Japanese anime Fandom. It has a wonderful storyline and an even more intense heroine who, I afraid, has been idealized so much by so many fans the world over that casting any actress to portray a live action film seems like an injustice to the character.
Then again, the same could be said for Rurouni Kenshin. I doubt anyone would have thought any actor could feasibly live up to the character and realistically portray his quirks as the actor in the live action films has done but he’s managed to do it (and with so much finesse and class too!).
Of course, there’s always the argument that Rurouni Kenshin IS a Japanese-produced live action film. This argument is sound. Clearly, the film has managed to artistically portray a cult animated series in just three wonderfully amazing movies. The Japanese definitely know how to best portray their animated characters and,. of course, who better to portray a Japanese series than a Japanese actor in a Japanese production?
That said, I wholeheartedly understand the conflict that must be going through the minds of so many fans of Ghost in the Shell. Ghost in the Shell is, after all, first and foremost, a Japanese animated production. It would make more logical sense, in my opinion, if Motoko is to be portrayed by a good Japanese actress such as Rinko Kikuchi who I believe could portray the character really, really well.
From my experience watching American adaptations, the results are less than stellar. The production companies almost always try to find a way to Americanize the characters which, I think, affects the whole point of the story. I can feel the same thing going on with the casting of Scarlett. I understand why they cast her. She’s good as Black Widow, but is she good enough as Motoko? I’m not quite sure.
Plus American adaptations tend to change the whole story drastically. The best example of this is the Dragonball adaptation. God, that made me cringe!
Anyway, I’m rooting for DreamWorks. After all, the best we could do is hope they manage to make it as good, or better, than we hope. Hopefully, Scarlett actually researches the character and tries to work on it. And please, no terrible Japanese pronunciation.