Scarlett Johansson’s exit could sink controversial movie about trans man

Scarlett Johansson /Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com

Avengers star Scarlett Johansson’s abrupt exit from a role in which she would have portrayed a transgender man may have halted the entire production.

Johansson’s Ghost in the Shell director, Rupert Sanders, is telling insiders that Johansson’s departure from Rub & Tug “doesn’t look good for the movie” and production hasn’t even started yet.

Johansson’s production company, These Pictures, was slated to assist with financing, but that may now be in limbo as well. It’s unclear at this time whether or not Joel Silver’s company, Silver Pictures, will remain either.

Johansson told Out Magazine her thoughts on the controversial role and the reason for leaving.

“In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project,” Johansson told OUT.

“Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive,” she added.

“I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues,” Johansson said. “According to GLAAD, LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40% in 2017 from the previous year, with no representation of trans characters in any major studio release.”

She added that she would have “loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life,” but understood why many felt “he should be portrayed by a transgender person.”

She then added, “…I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film. I believe that all artists should be considered equally and fairly.”

While “all artists should be considered equally and fairly” for the part, no one else has stepped up to the plate.

Can this movie make it? Time will tell.

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