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Take off your kimono and slip into your riot gear because something is very wrong in Hollywood. It looks like Rupert Sanders's hotly anticipated Ghost in the Shell has contracted a deadly computer virus, because fans are turning away from the live-action outing of #MasamuneShirow's acclaimed #manga in their droves. As the film tanks and #ScarlettJohansson's whitewashing debacle once again rears its head, it sounds like we could've had a very different film with someone else in the role of Major.
Whether or not a different actress would've saved the film is neither here nor there, but concept art for #MargotRobbie in the role of Major has recently surfaced online. While Johansson certainly kicked some robo-ass as the cybernetic police officer, Robbie's casting would've brought a very different tone to the #DreamWorks production.
She was Robbie'd of the role.
After wowing critics with her performance in The Wolf of Wall Street, Hollywood was quick to snatch Robbie up in whatever way possible. Negotiations for her to suit up as Major began as early as September 2014, but just a few months later, all talk had broken down and Robbie was out. We all know that Johansson scooped the role, happy enough with the $10 million deal.
Now, artists Jeff Simpson and Nivanh Chanthara have revealed some of their Robbie-esque work, which looks as good as fantastic as you would imagine.
That is certainly Robbie behind there, but away from her signature blonde locks, it is a drastic transformation. With Major's black bob, Simpson gives a Kate Beckinsale vibe to Motoko Kusanagi.
Speaking about his artwork, Simpson wrote on his Facebook:
"I spent a tiny amount of time doing pre-production work for the new Ghost in the Shell. These were done back in 2013? 2014? When Margot Robbie was gonna be the lead. Only spent a few days on it, but it was fun."
Chanthara instead goes for the iconic city jump scene that we see in both the manga and the live-action film. Here it is a lot harder to tell that it is Robbie in the concept art, seemingly amping up the popular opinion that anyone could play Major.
Chanthara too commented on her Facebook about her concept art:
"At this time, the project wasn't even greenlighted and Margot Robbie was considered for the role. It was an incredible rush and one of the first time I had to produce so much in a very small period of time."
Worryingly though, with the concept art being done so early on, it highlights that Sanders was clearly never looking to cast a Japanese actress in the role. Netflix's live-action Death Note is dodging its #whitewashing criticism by moving the setting to America, but with Ghost in the Shell oozing Japanese culture from every pore, the casting of a non-Japanese actress has easily overshadowed what should've been one of the best adaptations of all time.
How Robbie would've fared in the role of Section 9's best asset is unknown, but for now, there is no use crying over spilt sake. Johansson undoubtedly put her mark on the role, and love it or loathe it, Ghost in the Shell is all anyone is talking about — it is just a shame they aren't seeing it!