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‘Ghost in the Shell’ Featurette: Original Anime Director Says Audiences Don’t Need to Worry About Scarlett Johansson

Mamoru Oshii speaks highly of the live-action feature's new star in a fresh look at the upcoming film.

Ghost In The Shell Scarlett Johansson

“Ghost in the Shell”

Rupert Sanders’ upcoming live-action take on the beloved anime series “Ghost in the Shell” has repeatedly drawn criticism for its casting of Scarlett Johansson as its lead character, Major Motoko Kusanagi, a super-powered cyborg who is traditionally crafted to appear to be of Asian descent. While many have defended the casting — from producer Steven Paul to, for some reason, Max Landis — fans of the original work and those inspired to combat Hollywood whitewashing remain unconvinced.

READ MORE: Tilda Swinton: ‘Doctor Strange’ Whitewashing Controversy Is Bigger Than Just One Movie

But the film has at least one apparently staunch supporter, in the form of Mamoru Oshii, the Japanese director behind the original anime film, released in 1995. In a new featurette for Sanders’ film, Oshii himself takes center stage during a visit to the new feature’s set, talking up the film itself, Sanders’ world-building vision and especially Johansson’s performance, which he appears to be particularly in awe of.

If nothing else, this new look at the film does provide further evidence that the live-action take on the lauded material is going to be stunning on the big screen. Check out the featurette below:

“Ghost in the Shell” will arrive in theaters on March 31, 2017.

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