When it was first announced that the anime classic Ghost In the Shell would be adapted into a live-action blockbuster, fans had plenty to be skeptical about. Not the least of which was the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi, the film's lead who was Japanese in the manga and subsequent anime.
However, in a recent Kodansha Comics interview with the directors of the the original film and proceeding reboot, the director of 1995's Ghost in the Shell, Mamoru Oshii, revealed he is a fan of the casting decision.
"I first heard talk about doing a live-action version almost 10 years ago," Oshii said. "It's been a long road since then, but to be honest, it seemed like someone would do it eventually, and I admit I was concerned about who would play Motoko. I think Scarlett Johansson is about the best person they could have cast for the part, and I'm happy to be able to say that I have no objections to that choice."
While Oshii, Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) and Kazuchika Kise (Ghost in the Shell: Arise) also acknowledged the difficulty of adapting the animated classic into a live-action film, none expressed disapproval over the Johansson's casting.
There was a public outcry over casting Johansson as a Japanese protagonist. Ghost In the Shell debuted to less-than-stellar reviews and box office numbers.