For what it’s worth, the director of the original Ghost in the Shell anime movie, Mamoru Oshii, said at the time that there was “no basis” for accusations of whitewashing since the Major character was a cyborg. But that seems to paper over what appears on the outside to be a cynical choice by an industry where the then-ancient conventional wisdom was that only a white actor could carry an American movie based on Asian media. Worse still, the Hollywood movie makes the awkward choice to reveal that in her previous human life before “dying,” Major was actually a Japanese woman who was put in a synthetic body that looks like Johansson. In practice, it plays as both icky and desperate.
The final film received largely negative reviews and opened in third place during its first weekend in the US, behind Beauty and the Beast in its second weekend and… The Boss Baby. No sequel was made. Do not weep for Johansson though, who pivoted back to the indie and prestige world where she first broke through in the industry. In fact, she received her first two Oscar nominations in the same year for Marriage Story spirit Jojo Rabbit in 2019.
Chris Hemsworth is… The Huntsman?
Chris Hemsworth is the first of the original Avengers actors to lead a fourth MCU solo movie via this year’s upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. Which is pretty impressive since there were rumors not too long ago that he might be done like Downey and Captain America star Chris Evans after Avengers: Endgame. However, in a recent interview for The Story of Marvel Studios book, Hemsworth revealed he personally thought Thor was being written out of the MCU in 2015 when the character was not included in Captain America: Civil War.
But while Hemsworth has stayed the longest in the Marvel machine, it does not mean he has not explored other blockbuster opportunities. Indeed, the same year that the first Avengers came out, Hemsworth co-led another summer blockbuster, Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). That fractured fairy tale reimagined the story of Snow White as an action movie where Kristen Stewart’s princess joined forces with the Huntsman (Hemsworth) who was initially sent to kill her. It then culminates in a Lord of the Rings-inspired battle against the Evil Queen (Charlize Theron).
Despite mostly negative reviews, Snow White and the Huntsman did big business, even out-grossing Disney’s spin on the classic yarn from the same year, Mirror, Mirror. However, due to a salacious behind-the-scenes controversy involving Stewart and that film’s director, rather than making a traditional sequel with the winning ingredients of the 2012 movie, Universal Pictures opted to make a Snow White movie without Snow White in 2016’s spectacularly misguided The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Hemsworth’s character became the marquee draw in the film’s title, but even the added elements of Theron’s movie-stealing villainess returning from the dead, as well as adding the formidable star power of Emily Blunt as her Elsa-like ice queen sister, plus Jessica Chastain in a role inspired by Katniss Everdeen, The Huntsman proved to be a poorly conceived example of studio committee planning.
The finished film received the worst reviews of any movie mentioned in this article, with a current aggregate score of 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and did worse at the box office where The Huntsman grossed just $ 164 million, failing to open at even No. 1 in the US In that light, sticking it out with Thor, as well as Netflix’s sure thing in the Extraction franchise, appears like a safe bet. Although Hemsworth will soon crossover into another non-MCU franchise with the actor slated to appear in George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road prequel, Furiosa.