IN PHOTOS: Shooting starts in Hong Kong for stars of live-action Hollywood remake of Ghost in the Shell
Despite the recent controversy created by Hollywood's decision to cast mostly white actors for the live-action adaptation of Japanese animation Ghost in the Shell, the cast and crew have started filming in Hong Kong with Scarlett Johansson as the Major and Pilou Asbæk as her second-in-command, Batou.
When the cast was first announced for the American remake of Japan's Ghost in the Shell, many Asian-Americans, both working in Hollywood and not, made an issue of the movie industry's "whitewashing," a term used to describe a trend of making ethnic characters white (or whiter) to make them more appealing to the masses. What was interesting about the whole situation regarding Ghost in the Shell was that the creator of the original manga, Shirow Masamune, had fully supported the casting of Scarlett Johansson as the Major and was happy with the decision of Paramount Pictures to sign her. "Looking at her career so far, I think Scarlett Johansson is well cast. She has the cyberpunk feel. And we never imagined the character to be played by a Japanese actress in the first place.”
Even fans in Japan of the original and most others who were asked about it were not so bothered by Hollywood's actions as much as Asian-Americans and fans of Ghost in the Shell in the United States. Most animation fans in Japan felt that since the characters were exactly that — animated — they didn't have to be any particular race. And as long as they could see the anime in action, they were happy.
So as with all controversies, it's all about perception. The show must, and will, go on, as seen in the pictures below. Hong Kong looks cool as always, Scarlett Johansson and Pilou Asbæk are awesome, and if all goes well, come March 31st of 2017, fans of the original will be in for quite a treat!