The director of the original 'Ghost in the Shell' speaks out on the controversy around the casting of Scarlett Johansson.
Hunter Harris

27 Mar 2017 - 11:05 AM  UPDATED 27 Mar 2017 - 11:05 AM

Paramount’s adaptation of Ghost in the Shell caught flack when Scarlett Johansson was cast as the live-action adaptation’s lead character, a robot named Motoko Kusanagi. Now, Mamoru Oshii, the director of the original anime adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, said that he has no problem with Johansson playing a role many have understood to be an Asian woman. His reasoning? Ghost in the Shell’s main character is a cyborg with no fixed form or race, he explained to IGN, so he doesn’t consider Johansson’s casting as Hollywood whitewashing.

“What issue could there possibly be with casting her? The Major is a cyborg and her physical form is an entirely assumed one. The name ‘Motoko Kusanagi’ and her current body are not her original name and body, so there is no basis for saying that an Asian actress must portray her,” he told IGN via email. “Even if her original body (presuming such a thing existed) were a Japanese one, that would still apply.” Instead, Oshii says he’s satisfied with Johansson’s casting, and that he would prefer the live-action adaptation offer a new perspective on Masamune Shirow’s original Ghost in the Shell manga.

'Ghost in the Shell' opens in Australian cinemas on March 30.

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This article was originally published at Vulture. © 2015 All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.