Scarlett Johansson Goes From Avenger To Manga To Zelda

Scarlett Johansson, best known for playing Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will be playing Zelda Fitzgerald in a new biopic about F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, according to The Tracking Board. The movie is called The Beautiful and the Damned.

The Beautiful and the Damned is written by Hanna Weg. The movie will focus on the passionate, but often tumultuous, relationship between author F. Scott Fitzgerald and the woman who was called “the first American flapper,” Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.

Daily Life confirmed that Scarlett Johansson will be playing Zelda Fitzgerald in The Beautiful and the Damned, but said the role of her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, has not yet been cast. The Beautiful and the Damned was the name of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s second novel. According to PBS, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald was “the quintessential southern belle,” a free-spirited, independent, creative woman who was not only her husband’s muse, but a writer herself, as well as a socialite, a dancer, and a painter.

Scarlett Johansson is currently one of the most sought after actresses in Hollywood. The Jungle Book, in which Johansson voiced the snake Kaa, is the top-earning film this weekend. She has played SHIELD Agent Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow, in four movies so far: Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Johansson reprized the role in Captain America: Civil War, due to be released May 6. She is currently filming Ghost in the Shell, based on the popular Japanese manga.

There have been complaints about casting Scarlett Johansson, a white actress, as Major Motoko Kusanagi, a role that should be Japanese. Some fans requested that the role be recast with an Asian or Asian-American actress. The Inquisitr reported the controversy over “whitewashing” the role by having Scarlett Johansson play the Japanese detective Major Motoko Kusanagi, the cyborg field commander of Public Security Section 9.

However, in Japan, many fans were surprised by American outrage at whitewashing. The Hollywood Reporter stated that many fans expected an internationally produced film would use an American actress, rather than a Japanese actress. Sam Yoshida is the director of the international business division at Kodansha’s Tokyo headquarters, the company that publishes the original manga. He was pleased that a world-renowned actress like Scarlett Johansson was cast in the part.

“Looking at her career so far, I think Scarlett Johansson is well cast. She has the cyberpunk feel. And we never imagined it would be a Japanese actress in the first place… This is a chance for a Japanese property to be seen around the world.”

Scarlett Johansson has been acting since she was nine-years-old. Her first film was North, where she played John Ritter’s daughter. Scarlett Johansson has worked with a diverse group of directors, Robert Redford, the Coen brothers, Sofia Coppola, Woody Allen, Brian de Palma, and Joss Whedon. She has performed in action-adventure movies like The Avengers and Lucy, family movies like We Bought a Zoo and The Jungle Book, historical dramas like The Other Boleyn Girl and The Girl with the Pearl Earring, and comedy-dramas like Ghost World, Don Jon and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Scarlett Johansson sings as well as acts; she has recorded two albums. Esquire Magazine named Johansson the “Sexiest Woman Alive” in 2006 and 2013.

Playing Zelda Fitzgerald in The Beautiful and the Damned should be easy for Scarlett Johansson, who has a talent for playing strong, independent women.

[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]