'Ghost in the Shell' movie well received in Japan despite 'whitewashing' controversy


Hollywood's latest film adaptation of the popular Japanese anime franchise, "Ghost in the Shell," may have flopped at the US box office, but new reports have revealed that it may not be the case in Asian territories.

According to a report from Polygon, the science fiction action film was apparently well received in Japan and other Asian markets. The movie, which stars Scarlett Johansson as Motoko Kusanagi, was just released over the weekend in Japan. In its first three days, the film managed to pull over $3 million in gross sales.

While that figure may be minuscule compared to the movie's $110 million production budget, it still indicates that Japanese moviegoers have taken to the film. This comes as a surprise for most critics as the movie has caused quite a controversy over its use of a primarily white cast despite being a historically Japanese franchise.

Since the movie was first announced, there have been a lot of debate over the production's decision to cast Johansson in the leading role. Some critics expressed their disappointed on why Hollywood had decided on an American actress instead of one with Asian descent.

However, in spite of the outcry in regards to the "whitewashing" of the 1995 anime adaptation, the film's director Mamoru Oshii revealed that he actually had no issues with casting Johansson.

"What issue could there possibly be with casting her? The Major is a cyborg and her physical form is an entirely assumed one. The name 'Motoko Kusanagi' and her current body are not her original name and body, so there is no basis for saying that an Asian actress must portray her." Oshii explained in a previous interview with IGN.

"Ghost in the Shell" was released back on March 31 and has so far been able to at least make back its production budget with a worldwide gross of $129.2 million.

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