This week, the first look at Scarlett Johansson in the upcoming live action anime adaptation “Ghost In The Shell” arrived, and it has fueled a firestorm of controversy. The casting of Johansson already caused concern that Hollywood was “whitewashing” Mamoru Oshii‘s movie, and those worries multiplied with the first look. And Paramount and DreamWorks aren’t out of hot water just yet.
ScreenCrush is reporting that according to their sources, the studios tested VFX that would make that would allow filmmakers to “shift her ethnicity” in post-production toward something more Asian. Given the ongoing conversation around diversity in cinema, no to mention how poorly received the casting of the recent “Gods Of Egypt” was received (to the point where Lionsgate and director Alex Proyas apologized months before the film was released), the lack of awareness by the studio is a bit galling. However, in a statement issued by Paramount, they stress it was just a test and wasn’t for Johansson’s character:
A test was done related to a specific scene for a background actor which was ultimately discarded. Absolutely no visual effects tests were conducted on Scarlett’s character and we have no future plans to do so.
That’s what the studio claims, and whether it was for the lead or an extra, that the idea was entertained at all is the problem. According to ScreenCrush’s sources, the actress was not aware of the test, but insiders insist work by Lola VFX (“The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button“) was for her character.
“Ghost In The Shell” opens on April 14th, 2017. Let us know what you think below.