Hollywood Ghost In The Shell Movie Finally Gets A Japanese Actor: Beat Takeshi

Hollywood Ghost In The Shell Movie Finally Gets A Japanese Actor: Beat Takeshi
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Famed filmmaker, actor, and comedian Beat Takeshi is joining the cast of the Hollywood Ghost in the Shell Scarlett Johansson and some other white people.

According to Variety, “The story follows the exploits of a female member of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission’s covert ops unit (Johansson), which specialises in fighting technology-related crime.” Uh … So, Johansson is playing Major Motoko Kusanagi, a Japanese cyborg? Or, maybe, they can make her an American cyborg for the Japanese government? For this Hollywood movie? This is all quite odd.

But! Finally, the filmmakers have signed a real Japanese actor to join the production — and a great one at that. Oricon and Cinema Today report that Beat Takeshi will play the chief of Public Security Section 9, Daisuke Aramaki. “It’s not that I’m a fan of anime or manga,” Takeshi is quoted as saying (which, hey, is ok!).

“I decided to take the role because even though this stylish piece of entertainment is totally different from the films I’ve directed, I thought it was interesting that Aramaki, the role I play, is a character who gives off a peculiar vibe and, in various episodes, is set at the core of the characters’ relationships. I’m looking forward to see how the movie turns out.”

The live-action Hollywood Ghost in the Shell is slated for a 2017 release. This is Beat Takeshi’s first Hollywood film since 1995’s Johnny Mnemonic.
Top image: Ghost in the Shell Wikia [Cinema Today]


  • Actually, Takeshi Kitano voiced the old Japanese chipmunk in Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.

  • Oh yes! Loved Takeshi in Brother and the BR movies. Such a mild-mannered guy (on the surface!)

    Such a shame about Scarlett Johannson playing the lead. I would have picked Namie Amuro, Utada Hikaru or even Shinbi Miyoshi of Rumania Montevideo (who is way underrated)


    • How good was he in Brother! Irrespective of what I see him in, mentally, I always think “It’s Aniki!”. 🙂

  • Still not understanding what the issue with Scarlett Johannson is here. She is a really good actress who puts bums on seats. Makes sense from most standpoints.

    Yes it might make sense for a Japanese actress to play a japanese character. But at the same time this is a) hollywood and b) who cares if Scarlett does a good job (which she typically has in the past).

    • I dunno. Matoko gives off an authoritative professional vibe. She just happens to look good because she’s in a combat cyborg chassis. Where as Scarlett seems like an eye-candy choice, to me.

      If she can bring the Aspbergers-ish vibe she had in Lucy, you kow, distant; calculating and nonplussed; This would pique my interest.

      • The issue for a lot of people is that ScarJo isn’t a right fit for the film. Just as Frodo wouldn’t be for the Robotech or Neon Genesis Evangelion films he’s trying to get moving.

        Personally, if they had to insist on a Western actress, I reckon Hathaway or Emily Blunt would be more more appropriate for the role. It’s not just about bringing an air of authoritarianism to the role, Kusinagi was an imposing figure with a distinct presence. ScarJo, while being a great actress, just doesn’t invoke that kind of response.

        • i think a lot of people are underestimating scarjo and her capabilities of showcasing matoko’s characteristics and flaws. if we’re talking emotionless matoko, i would almost guarantee her character performance towards the end in Lucy is what influenced her casting.

          if we’re going to typecast actresses then i’ll add that hathaway has too much of an elegant aura about her and blunt is verging on too masculine for the role. all three are great options for matoko but i see scarjo as the “lesser evil” of the three.

          i would also suggest you watch Under Her Skin if you haven’t.

  • Urg … So this remake is still going?! Ghost in the Shell is a landmark in science fiction literature and film. It is as influential as Blade Runner or The Matrix and as pioneering as William Gibson’s, Neuromancer. In fact the Wachowski siblings showed scenes from Ghost in the Shell in order to explain to producers in Hollywood the kind of influences that they had and what they wanted The Matrix to channel. James Cameron is a huge fan of the first Ghost in the Shell film.

    Unfortunately, to a Hollywood producer, the only negative that this science fiction masterpiece and its associated media interpretations has is that it was written by “some Japanese guy” called Masamune Shirow – a guy who doesn’t even speak English and didn’t even have the courtesy to write his landmark books in English! But it’s never too late to assimilate, right?

    Any fan of Ghost in the Shell knows that his graphic novels are covered in notes and technical comments and references to tens of pages of notes at the back showing how deeply he researched and how sophisticatedly he layered his world of political, social, cultural, religious, gender and even sexual commentary. Yes, on a surface it’s a story of cyborgs, but underneath, it goes deep.

    So how deep will this whitewashed Hollowood remake go? Not very, I wager.

  • Well, in actual fact, it’s not like Hollywood CAN’T make a good adaptation of Japanese properties- not, not Godzilla, which was shit, but Edge of Tomorrow (based on the light novel All You Need Is Kill) which I actually consider superior to the original material.

    It’s just that they’re honestly not likely to. This is still probably gonna suck.

  • Who remembers that Japanese game show with the obstacle course they used to show on SBS back in the early 90s? Takeshi’s Castle?

    Guess what?

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