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Ghost In the Shell Live Action Casts Scarlett Johansson.

Hollywood producers have been optioning hit anime and manga for decades, but we've yet to see one actually come to fruition with any degree of success. Most of them fall apart before cameras roll, or end up in the realm of straight-to-video obscurity. In fact, the only ones that ever have made it to wide release were Speed Racer and Dragonball Evolution... and well, the less said about them the better. Still, it's not hard to see why producers are still trying to get a live-action Ghost In The Shell off the ground. It's one of the biggest names in anime and manga to this day (at least here in the West) and was cited as a major ( pun intended) influence on the Matrix trilogy.

Last year Snow White And The Hunstman director Rupert Sanders joined the project at Dreamworks. Now, while still not yet greenlit, it seems the film is one step closer to happening as Scarlett Johansson has signed on to play the lead. The star has proven her action chops before in her role in the Marvel films as Black Widow and in last year's cult hit Lucy. However, the casting would still attract some criticism, as Ms Johansson is many things, but she is definitely not Asian. Of course, it's possible the Hollywood version might feature an entirely different central character, but the criticism still stands.  Although this whitewashing of characters is common practice in Hollywood, it's still disappointing for those who would like to see The Major played by an actor of the correct ethnicity.

The high-profile casting will hopefully increase the chances it will actually happen, and the project supposedly has the full backing of Dreamworks Co-founder Steven Speilberg. Even so, we'll believe this is really happening only when the cameras start rolling...