Casting controversy for Johansson film

Author
Hannah Bartlett,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Jan 2016, 10:45AM
(Image Supplied)

Casting controversy for Johansson film

Author
Hannah Bartlett,
Publish Date
Wed, 27 Jan 2016, 10:45AM

Controversy is emerging online around the casting of Scarlett Johansson in a film currently in production in Wellington.

The Hollywood star was photographed at Miramar's Stone Street Studios in the capital this morning, where she's about to start filming a remake of the sci-fi epic "Ghost in the Shell".

LISTEN ABOVE: Newstalk ZB Film Critic Darren Bevan speaks to Hannah Bartlett about the casting controversy 

MORE: NZ Herald: Johannson flies into Wellington

Film critic Darren Bevan says fans of the original 1995 Japanese anime film have launched an online petition, calling for her to be replaced by an actor of Asian descent.

"It's just so iconically Japanese, and it's so iconically cast with East Asian actors in this film, that they really want to be represented in this film."

"It's part of the ongoing debate that seems to be rippling through Hollywood at the moment that films are being whitewashed."

Darren Bevan said the petition has at least 15,000 signatures.

However, he added that the star power of Scarlett Johannson is likely to be useful to the producers of the film, as they seek to take a niche cultural phenomenon to a wider audience.