Ghost in the Shell anime director actually liked Scarlett Johansson's casting

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Mar 26, 2021, 4:00 PM EDT (Updated)

There was no shortage of controversy surrounding the live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell before and after its release, and most of the criticism was aimed at the casting of Scarlett Johansson in the lead role.

But according to Kodansha Comics (via AnimeNewsNetwork) the director of the original 1995 anime, Mamoru Oshii, didn’t have a problem with seeing Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi (who was Japanese in the original source material.) On the contrary, he was a fan of the change.

“I first heard talk about doing a live-action version almost 10 years ago,” Oshii reportedly told Kodansha Comics. “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.”

That's not to say all is forgiven among fans of the original, however. The critical response to the film was not great, with critics saying the film missed many of the themes and details that made the original so beloved among anime and sci-fi fans.

But it's certainly interesting to hear just how enthusiastic Oshii sounds about Johansson in the role.

What did you make of the remake? Let us know in the comments below.