The Wolf of Wall Street’s Margot Robbie is in talks to lead DreamWorks’ live-action adaptation of the 1995 hit anime movie Ghost in the Shell, to be directed by Snow White and the Huntsman’s Rupert Sanders. Which makes it sound like DreamWorks is finally getting pretty serious about making this film.
The other day my friend Juliana reposted a Tumblr about how Fan Bingbing shouldn’t be regarded as an “emerging actress” because she’s been the biggest box office draw in Asia for years now - she’s just new to the US. That came to my mind when I read this article about the live-actions American remake of Ghost in the Shell.
Don’t get me wrong: I think Margot Robbie’s a good actress (see my review of The Wolf of Wall Street), but why is it so hard for Hollywood to grasp the idea that Asian people are quite a sizable part of the US population? Do you think audiences couldn’t get their heads around seeing an Asian lead in the role. Robbie's Wolf of Wall Street co-star has been trying to spearhead a similar remake of Akira, complete with all-White cast.
Putting aside the cultural commentary that would be lost in changing the setting of these films to the US, the idea that the only “American” face is a White one has never been true and it’s even more outmoded today. Three Asian actress who could do role of the Major justice include the aforementioned Fan Bingbing from China (remember: though a Japanese story, GOTS takes place in Hong Kong), Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi of Pacific Rim and Babel, and Korean actress Doona Bae from Cloud Atlas.
Hollywood was attracted to these stories because they were so far from the norm of what they do; it’s a shame that they just want to remake them so as to make them conform.
Plus this one might be directed by the director of Snow White and the Huntsman and no one wants that.