Scarlett Johansson may have made her superhero debut in the Avengers, but now the star is diving into a new kind of hero from a beloved Japanese manga series Ghost in the Shell that’s was tainted with whitewashing controversy.
Last year, when the first glimpse of Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi was released online. fans of Masamune Shirow’s manga series claimed that it was another Hollywood whitewashing incident. However, the character in the series is not necessarily Japanese.
“She’s essentially identity-less. I think this character is living a very unique experience in that she has a human brain in an entirely machinate body,” she told GMA’s Michael Strahan. “I would never attempt to play a person of a different race, obviously. Hopefully, any question that comes up of my casting will be answered when they see the film,” Scarlett said.
Set in the near future, Ghost in the Shell follows the story of Major (Johansson), the first of her kind: a human who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that she has been lied to, and her life was not saved. Instead, it was stolen.
In this interview, Johansson talks about the challenge of playing the character, staying in shape and bringing this world to life on the screen.
Ghost in the Shell opens on March 31.