gis-scc-featured

How diverse was “Ghost in the Shell”, really?

Hello!

My name is Luke Guidici. I’m a filmmaker and writer and while this is the first post I’ve written on Smashcutculture.com, my work has been featured on the site. In addition to my own work, I occasionally write about film. My last in depth exploration was a two-part essay on the Heist Movie Genre, but recently I was reminded that I wanted to examine the issue of diversity in the live-action adaptation of “Ghost in the Shell.”

Movie adaptations are tough. For one it’s a different medium, which means somethings just have to be changed. I wrote about the process of adaptation here. It seems that no matter what is done, people get very upset with any changes from the original text. Whether it’s casting an actor that doesn’t look like the source character, a costume that is different, or a change in a hero’s powers.

Back when the film came out there was much internet outrage about the “whitewashing” of the lead character. People were offended that Scarlett Johansson had been cast in the lead role… instead of an actor with Asian ancestry. When I watched the movie, I was struck by how diverse the cast and world was. It had probably been 10 plus years since I’d seen the anime, so I wasn’t sure my memory served me correctly. I made a mental note that once the new film was available to purchase, I’d buy both and compare the two to see what sort of changes were made in the adaptation. And for good measure, I also bought the original manga, from which both are based.

(more…)

michelle-rodriguez-machete-kills

A Breath of Fresh Air on the Comicbook and Movie Diversity Craze

The openly bisexual actress Michelle Rodriguez was asked recently about possibly being cast as the Green Lantern for a future film.

Her answer was epic:

I think it’s so stupid because of this whole minorities in Hollywood thing. It’s so stupid. Stop stealing all the white people’s superheroes. Make up your own. You know what I am saying? What’s up with that?

While this may be a bit harsh (Rodriguez indeed backpedaled a bit on her Facebook page after her comment), it speaks to the current craze within, if not yet so much the comicbook movie industry, certainly the print comicbook biz.

The “Big Two” companies, Marvel and DC, over recent years have “re-imagined” many of their popular heroes by

  • turning Thor into a woman
  • having Sam Wilson, the Falcon and an African-American, assume the role of Captain America
  • making Ms. Marvel a teenaged Muslim female
  • making Green Lantern a Muslim male
  • making the original Green Lantern gay
  • creating an Hispanic-black Spider-Man
  • turning Nick Fury into a black man
  • transforming Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, into a black guy
  • making Asgard’s Heimdall a black guy
  • officially making Catwoman bisexual

(more…)