Entertainment EXCLUSIVE: Scarlett Johansson Responds to 'Ghost in the Shell' Criticism: 'I'm Cautiously Optimistic'

15:36  11 january  2017
15:36  11 january  2017 Source:   ETOnline

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A few months back, rumors swirled that the enviable lead for the beloved 1995 anime movie Ghost in the Shell would go to newcomer Margot Robbie. But now Robbie is out and big-time Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson is officially in. (Because casting an Asian woman in the role is apparently impossible for Hollywood executives to even fathom. Exclusive Dark Matter Concept Art Is Loaded With Glorious Spaceships!

The Western adaptation of the iconic cyberpunk manga and anime series Ghost in the Shell has entered production—and with that news, we have our first look at Scarlett Johansson in the lead role as Major Motoko Kusanagi. It still bothers us a lot that this role isn’t being played by an Asian actor—but at least the the shot released of Johansson captures the vibe of Shirow’s dark world pretty decently. Hey the ethnicity of the lead character doesn’t matter as long as they got the hairstyle right, right?

  EXCLUSIVE: Scarlett Johansson Responds to 'Ghost in the Shell' Criticism: 'I'm Cautiously Optimistic' © Provided by ETOnline

Scarlett Johansson isn't letting the haters get her down!

ET recently caught up with the 32-year-old actress, where she got candid about receiving criticism for her casting in director Rupert Sanders' latest live-action adaptation, Ghost in the Shell, out March 31.

"I'm skeptical of the casting myself," Johansson, who portrays a typically Japanese manga character known as the Major in the film, joked to ET's Cameron Mathison. "No! I hope that fans go on this journey of self-discovery with this character and are taken away to this world, a world Rupert so painstakingly created for them."

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"This is a ride that's not just explosive and exciting, but also curious and reflective," Johansson assured. Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, Ghost in the Shell follows the Major ( Scarlett Johansson ), a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in.

Will the live action Ghost In The Shell movie feature Scarlett Johansson nude throughout many of the action scenes? Any fan of the original anime and manga knows that the main character Major Motoko Kusanagi spends a substantial amount of screen time naked, and the opening scene features so much female cyborg nudity that many movie goers may be left gaping if Johansson reenacts the scene faithfully.

"You know, there's a lot of great, kind of references -- visual references -- for the fans that hopefully will have them standing and cheering," she continued. "Fingers crossed, we'll see."

Johansson admitted, however, that she has yet to see the final version of the film. At the time of our interview, she had only seen the trailer.

"It is exciting to see it come together, and I think I have sort of stuck my head in the sand a little bit, because I worked so hard [on] it, as everybody [has], and I want to see it when it's ready," she explained. "I want to see it when Rupert's ready to show it to me. I'm still kind of -- I kept myself in, like, a bubble."

The New York City native called the trailer "awesome," and said she was "really blown away by the opening."

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‘ Ghost in the Shell ’ Director Defends Scarlett Johansson After Whitewashing Claims. ‘ Ghost In The Shell ’ Trailer: Scarlett Johansson Looks To Silence The Controversy With Badass New Footage. @CUBE You’re being optimistic that she’s even japanese. I ’ m still expecting her to be American and all references to the "American Empire" erased.

Whenever anyone discusses the upcoming live-action adaptation of ‘ Ghost in the Shell ’ from director Rupert Sanders, it’s hard not to talk about the controversy surrounding the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi (who is now just simply known as The Major). Many people have expressed a number of feelings that range from outcries of whitewashing to cautiously optimistic explanations that she has the name recognition to get this movie made.

"I saw the shelling sequence and the trailer when they premiered both of those in Tokyo," she exclaimed. "I was really excitedly there at this beautiful event that Paramount had planned."

"I'm cautiously optimistic, as I always am," she continued. "But I love this character. I'm really into the world that Rupert created, and I'm excited to see it all pieced together."

Johansson is no stranger to playing tough characters onscreen, so she was stoked when she heard she nabbed the part.

"I think the most badass thing about [the Major] is that she's vulnerable," Johansson gushed. "And that part of her is what makes her so strong. She's vulnerable, she's curious, and it's those two qualities that actually allow her to own her fate at the end of this film. They allow her to, reluctantly in some ways, accept her role as a protector of humanity against themselves, I guess."

The role requires a lot of physicality, which was not a problem for Johansson, who says staying fit is "a lifestyle."

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"'Wolverine' Actress Rila Fukushima Joins Scarlett Johansson in ' Ghost in the Shell ' ( Exclusive )". "There's been a lot of criticism from foreign fans about the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi in the movie adaptation of Ghost in the Shell ," wrote @janyojanyo. "It's about artificial bodies, so you may as well think of it as her using a white cyborg ".

Until now, we haven’t gotten that good of a look at Scarlett Johansson in the upcoming Ghost in the Shell film. The only released publicity still is a profile shot, so it’s hard to see how she ’ ll pull off augmented-cybernetic human Motoko Kusanagi. Johansson ’s casting has been a source of controversy in the West, with the film being criticized for whitewashing the source material. Via HK01 and Twitch Film, here are set photos of the movie’s shoot in Hong Kong.

"The secret [to staying in shape] is not really a secret, but just a lot of hard work and discipline," she dished. "I've found as I've gotten older that I like the discipline of having, every day, set goals for myself at work. That starts at the gym in the morning, and then I fight my way through the day!"

"Always gotta carve out some time [for exercise]," she added. "It's important."

Johansson also told ET that getting into character was a workout itself. In the film, she has to wear a flesh-colored skintight latex unitard, an outfit she jokes is "really flattering."

"That was all the exercise I needed, actually!" she explained. "I was absolutely, like, covered and drenched in sweat after getting in it. And my costumer, too. The two of us were like, it was a tango for sure! I'm like, you know, arm out here, leg down, all over the place."

"The first few times, it was a challenge, and then it became a graceful dance between us," she continued. "Eventually, kind of second nature. [The costumer] would come into my trailer, [and] I was already half-dressed. She was like, 'Damn, you're putting me out of a job, man! You got yourself in and out of that thing.'"

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