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Producers Reportedly Considered Making Scarlett Johansson Look More Asian for 'Ghost in the Shell'

This after initial backlash against her playing a Japanese character.

Producers Reportedly Considered Making Scarlett Johansson Look More Asian for 'Ghost in the Shell'

Talk about misunderstanding the problem. When Scarlett Johansson's casting in the lead role for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell adaptation was first announced, many fans took issue with her playing Major Motoko Kusanagi, a character who is Japanese in the story's manga and animé forms.

The complaint was against yet another instance of Hollywood whitewashing, a practice that has led to Asian characters being erased in movies when white actors are cast instead. But according to some, the studio responded to the complaint not by seeking out Asian actors, but instead by considering the possibility of making Scarlett Johansson look Asian.

According to sources speaking with Screencrush, producing companies Paramount and Dreamworks sought out Lola VFX, an industry leader in making stars look their best onscreen, to create test shots of what it would look like if Johansson were digitally altered to look more Asian. When asked about the test, Paramount said it really did happen, but not with Johansson's image. Instead, they say it was actually a background actor, and the efforts were very quickly abandoned upon seeing the result.

"A test was done related to a specific scene for a background actor which was ultimately discarded," a studio insider said. "Absolutely no visual effects tests were conducted on Scarlett’s character and we have no future plans to do so."

If the studio really did try making Johansson more Asian it represents a gross misunderstanding of the problem. We imagine they just didn't see this much controversy coming over an animé adaptation.

View Scarlett Johansson Pictures »