‘Ghost in the Shell’ Tweaks Heroine’s Name to Suit International Approach

Producer Steven Paul addresses the controversial whitewashing casting of upcoming Manga adaptation “Ghost in the Shell” which stars Scarlett Johansson. He claims casting an Asian actress to play the heroine is not necessary because it’s not a Japanese-specific story.
“I don’t think it was just a Japanese story,” he told Buzzfeed. “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 does the heroine not have a Japanese name, Major Kusanagi, in the book?! They apparently solve this problem by naming the character just “Major” in the movie. Paul said, “I think everybody is going to end up being really happy with it. They’re going to be very, very happy with it when they see what we’ve actually done with it, and I don’t think anybody’s going to be disappointed […] I think we’ve done the manga comic great honor.”

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He added, “As I said, the fans will be very happy, because there’s a great respect that’s been paid to the manga. We’ve been very, very careful. Obviously, there’s some new imagination, as well. I mean, like anything, when you’re making a movie, you’ve gotta bring your own.” While the main character is not played by Asian actor, he assured that the rest of the cast are very diverse. “There [are] all sorts of people and nationalities in the world in Ghost in the Shell,” he said. “We’re utilizing people from all over the world. … There’s Japanese in it. There’s Chinese in it. There’s English in it. There’s Americans in it.”

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