Paramount Blames ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Flop on Whitewashing Controversy, Bad Reviews

By Yessenia Funes Apr 06, 2017

“Ghost in the Shell” was a box-office flop. Costing Paramount a whopping $110 million to make, the live-action remake of the 1995 anime dished out only $19 million in U.S. box office revenue its opening weekend.

Paramount’s domestic distribution chief Kyle Davies told CBC News in an interview published April 2 that he thinks that had to do with the “conversation regarding casting.”

“You’ve got a movie that is very important to the fanboys since it’s based on a Japanese anime movie,” Davies said. “So you’re always trying to thread that needle between honoring the source material and make a movie for a mass audience. That’s challenging, but clearly the reviews didn’t help." 

In the film, Scarlett Johansson (“Lucy”) plays the protagonist, a human-machine hybrid who was Japanese in the original manga. Critics took issue with this whitewashing, with many stating they would have preferred the role go to an Asian actress.

In addition, the movie’s director, Rupert Sanders (“Snow White and the Huntsman"), is White and so are its producers, Avi Arad (“Iron Man”) and Steven Paul (“Ghost Rider”).

Twitter had its two cents to say about the movie post-release:

Tell us what you think of the controversy in a comment below.

(H/t Hollywood ReporterCBC News)