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People Are Outraged Over The First Photo Of Scarlett Johansson In "Ghost In The Shell"


Posted on April 14, 2016, at 5:08 p.m. ET

When Scarlett Johansson was cast to star in Paramount and DreamWorks Pictures' live-action film adaptation of Ghost in the Shell in early 2015, fans of the beloved manga series criticized the studio for whitewashing Major Motoko Kusanagi.

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images
Kodansha Comics / Production I.G.

But when the first official photo was released on Thursday of Johansson as simply "the Major," the backlash was reignited.

Paramount Pictures

In their press release, Johansson's role is referred to as "the Major," not as Motoko Kusanagi, the full name of the human-cyborg hybrid who leads a task force called Public Security Section 9 in the source material.

It's yet unclear if the character will be renamed or called "the Major" throughout the film. BuzzFeed News has reached out to the studio for more information.

The movie will be directed by Snow White and the Huntsman's Rupert Sanders, and Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, whose animation studio Production I.G produced the Japanese Ghost in the Shell film and TV series, will be one of the executive producers.

The cast of Ghost in the Shell also includes Beat Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouelet, Michael Pitt as Kuze, Pilou Asbæk as Batou, Kaori Momoi, and the members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara, and Tuwanda Manyimo.

Seeing the photo of Johansson was personal for some Ghost in the Shell fans.

Ghost in the Shell was one of the most important movies to my brother and me growing up. It really does hurt to see it get this treatment.

Others slammed the casting choice and asked why Asian actors weren't considered.

here's a photo of how they casted the ghost in the shell movie:

Were all these women busy?? Were they contacted, Paramount? They've all acted in a superhero and/or SFF property.

It's not like they could have cast anyone else as Motoko for Ghost in the Shell.

gosh where could we possibly find a Japanese actress who kicks ass...????? NAH just cast ScarJo we can't find any

Oh look, the Internet has already made these. Which one makes more sense??? HMMMMMMM Hollywood 😐

Some people laid out the cold, hard facts.

It's astoundingly uncomplicated. Ghost in the Shell takes place in 21st century Japan, and Kusanagi is written as Japanese

Even The Joy Luck Club and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Ming-Na Wen spoke out.

Nothing against Scarlett Johansson. In fact, I'm a big fan. But everything against this Whitewashing of Asian role.😒

Paramount and DreamWorks Pictures is filming Ghost in the Shell in New Zealand right now. It's set to be released on March 31, 2017.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.