After the U.S. theatrical release of Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence in 2008, DreamWorks acquired the rights to produce a live-action film adaptation of the original manga. Jamie Moss was hired to pen the script, which was later re-written by Laeta Kalogridis. In January 2014, it was reported that Rupert Sanders was hired to direct, with a screenplay now being re-written by William Wheeler and Jonathan Herman. In October, it was announced that Scarlett Johansson was cast after Margot Robbie turned the role, and being offered $10 million by DreamWorks. By April 2016, the cast were finally rounded out with established character actors that included Takeshi Kitano, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han and Juliette Binoche. The production was met with controversy over the choice of Johansson's casting as Major Motoko Kusanagi (a Japanese character). Online protests over Hollywood whitewashing flared up in April 2016 when Paramount Pictures released the first promotional image of Johansson in costume. Ironically, in Japan, some fans of the manga were surprised that the casting caused controversy, as many already assumed that a Hollywood production would choose a white actress in the lead role. Mamoru Oshii (director of the original films) stated, in an interview, that "The Major is a cyborg and her physical form is an entirely assumed one. The name 'Motoko Kusanagi' and her current body are not her original name and body...", and also stating, "I can only sense a political motive from the people opposing it, and I believe artistic expression must be free from politics." During a launch event in Tokyo, producer Steven Paul addressed the controversy, referring to the setting of the film as "an international world", stating "There [are] all sorts of people and nationalities in the world in Ghost in the Shell. We're utilizing people from all over the world..." Johansson replied to the criticism, stating, "I certainly would never presume to play another race of a person... and I would never want to feel like I was playing a character that was offensive..."
The film stars Johansson, Kitano, Pitt, Asbæk, Han and Binoche. The cast gave the best performances they could despite their mechanical deliveries, especially Johansson's, lack of characterisation and given very little to do throughout the film.
Simon says Ghost in the Shell (2017) receives: