Scarlett seemed to me the most cyberpunk, through and through: Director praises lead actress
For all the talk of philosophy, metaphors and conversations, everyone’s eyes undoubtedly will be on the film’s leading lady. Sanders called Johansson one of the most gifted actors of her generation and right for the dark, sexy, physical role of the Major in almost too many ways to enumerate.
“Scarlett seemed to me the most cyberpunk, through and through,” Sanders said. “She’s got this attitude and this combination of toughness and masculinity and great femininity that is hard to find, and she’s such a versatile actor.
“From our first conversations, early on, we both really clicked about the Major and about what the Major should be and could be,” he said.
“Scarlett came on board very excited about the prospects of creating this character.”
The film does feature many Asian faces, but Sanders and the production have taken flak over the casting of a non-Asian as the Major, originally an Asian character.
“I think the internet is a great naysayer,” the director said, “and, when you’re putting something out, developing something or starting work, when there are no materials out there, people just look for a way to attack you for whatever reason. You see it across the board, in so many different artistic mediums, but film especially, because everyone feels that they are an audience member, therefore they rightly have an opinion. A lot of those opinions barely avoid negativity.
“For me,” he continued, “when people see the film, I think they’ll understand that Scarlett’s not playing an Asian role. She’s playing the cybernetic shell of the Major. That’s true in the anime too. People who know the anime will understand that and see that it’s fairly honest.”