Whitewashing debate aside, manga adaptation Ghost in the Shell production is progressing, with filming moving from its home base in New Zealand to location shooting in Hong Kong and FilmHype (via Kotaku) snagged set photos of its star Scarlet Johansson in character.
First photos from the set of Ghost in the Shell pic.twitter.com/OyvuNZY31H
— Film Hype (@FilmHyp) June 8, 2016
Based on the uber-popular manga by Masmune Shirow, the story follows Johansson’s Maj. Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg that is a part of an elite cybercrime-fighting task force known as Section 9.
The photos also included a first look of Pilou Asbaek (currently playing Euron Greyjoy on this season of Game of Thrones) as a startlingly-accurate take on the character of Batou. The characters are wandering a crowded market that shows off the futuristic biotech commonplace in this future. There has been controversy across Hollywood, from this film to Doctor Strange, of whitewashing roles that could be ideal showcases for underrepresented Asian actors, a flame fanned by rumors that the studio experimented with making its Caucasian actors look more Asian via CGI. Some were appeased by the recent casting of Rila Fukushima in an undisclosed role (Fukushima was actually a constant suggestion for the lead, but Hollywood is Hollywood).
Directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White & the Huntsman) and written by Jonathan Herman and Jamie Moss, the blockbuster also stars Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche, Takeshi Kitano and Chin Han. It hits theaters March 31, 2017.