Scarlett Johansson’s Ghost in the Shell could be going in the right direction with regard to acknowledging the original movie’s all-Japanese cast by getting back the original voice actors to dub the Japanese version of the live-adaptation film.
It has just been revealed that the upcoming Ghost in the Shell live-adaptation movie will get the original voice actors to dub the dialogue in Japanese when the movie hits Japan.
According to Kotaku, the original actors from the Ghost in the Shell anime are returning to provide their voices once more for the Japanese version of the live-adaptation. Akio Otsuka, who provided the voice for Batuo, will be joined by Koichi Yamadera, who voiced Togusa, and Atsuko Tanaka, who provided the voice for Major Motoko Kusanagi.
In Scarlett Johansson’s Ghost in the Shell version the main protagonist is called Mira instead of Major Motoko Kusanagi to make the heroine of the film sound more western.
The decision of Paramount Pictures to cast a Caucasian woman in a role, which was originally played by a Japanese woman, has caused quite a stir among the fans of the anime series.
The director of the film, Rupert Sanders, defended their choice on who to play the Major saying that Johansson was perfect for the role because of her acting prowess.
Sanders said he expected that Scarlett Johansson being cast in Ghost in the Shell will be heavily criticized by many, but he says that his first priority in casting the Major was to look for a great actress to take on such a demanding role and he believes that Johansson fits the bill perfectly.
Steven Paul, the producer of the film, also defended their choice for the Major saying that Ghost in the Shell is not exclusively Japanese in terms of the background of the setting or even the culture of the world that the original anime film created.
Paul said, “Ghost in the Shell was a very international story, and it wasn’t just focused on Japanese; it was supposed to be an entire world. That’s why I say the international approach is, I think, the right approach to it.”
But some critics are angry about the whitewashing of the movie and they said that Paul’s argument is invalid seeing that the first trailer of Ghost in the Shell featured locations that look a lot like Japanese settings.
According to the Verge, when the first trailer was shown, there were characters in the video that looked like cyborg geishas, writings on neon billboards that were written in kanji and Takeshi Kitano speaking only Japanese to Scarlett Johansson’s character.
It is probably why the producers of the film are bringing back the original actors of the anime film to dub the live-adaptation into Japanese. They’re probably hoping that hiring the actors who popularized the main heroes of Ghost in the Shell would appease the angry fans who have been criticizing the live-adaptation’s whitewashed cast.
But despite this development, some hardcore fans of the anime might not be convinced to back off from criticizing the upcoming film, although, the director of the original anime film is more than happy about decision to bring back the original actors to the live-adaptation.
Mamoru Oshii, the director of the original Ghost in the Shell, said that he’s looking forward to seeing the original voice actors be involved in the live adaptation and he assures everyone that the original cast will perform exceedingly well in acting out their familiar roles once more.
Oshii said, “It’s been a while since they’ve played these characters. I definitely want them to deliver performances they see fit. They’re all pros, so there’s nothing to worry about, and I can only say that this is something to look forward to.”
[Featured image by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images]