“That’s inappropriate”: Emily Blunt Can’t Make Her Favorite Musical With Hugh Jackman to Avoid a Scarlett Johansson Style Scandal

Emily Blunt revealed why it might be inappropriate to co-star with Hugh Jackman in the King and I musical.

“That’s inappropriate”: Emily Blunt Can’t Make Her Favorite Musical With Hugh Jackman to Avoid a Scarlett Johansson Style Scandal

SUMMARY

  • Emily Blunt And Hugh Jackman discussed their potential collaboration during a conversation on Variety's Actors on Actors.
  • Blunt shared that she would love to do classic musical The King and I with Hugh Jackman.
  • Realizing the sensitivity of the casting choice, she also highlighted that he can not portray the King of Siam in the musical.
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Emily Blunt And Hugh Jackman discussed their potential collaboration during a conversation on Variety’s Actors on Actors. Both actors are known for their versatilities on screen, from starring in action-packed movies to showing off their musical chops in several musicals.

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Emily Blunt and Hugh Jackman on Variety's Actors on Actors
Emily Blunt and Hugh Jackman on Variety’s Actors on Actors

However, as the two actors discussed the possibilities of collaborating on a musical, Blunt expressed her wish to do The King and I with the X-Men star, only to realize that it could lead to a controversy akin to the Scarlett Johansson 2017 film Ghost in the Shell.

Emily Blunt Expressed Her Wish to Do a Musical With Hugh Jackman

During a conversation on Variety’s Actors on Actors, Emily Blunt and Hugh Jackman discussed starring in musicals. The conversation that started with Blunt’s 2018 film Mary Poppins Returns, led the Oscar-nominated actress to propose the idea of doing a musical together.

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Mary Poppins Returns
Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

As Jackman, who has starred in several Hollywood musicals and The Boy from Oz on Broadway, enthusiastically agreed, Blunt revealed which musical she would like to work with Jackman on. She shared, “I want to do The King and I.”

The classic musical, scored by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, follows the king of Siam (Thailand), transitioning from an immortal, imperious ruler to a vulnerable figure when he encounters Anna, an English widow. Despite their diverse backgrounds, their relationship evolves into one of mutual respect and admiration.

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The King and I | Youtube
The King and I | Youtube

Emily Blunt further acknowledged the sensitivity of the casting choice and said that Jackman, as an Australian actor, can not portray the King of Siam in the musical. “But you can’t do that with me. That’s inappropriate,” Blunt said, highlighting that it could lead to a similar controversy as Scarlett Johansson’s 2017 film Ghost in the Shell.

The Whitewashing Controversy Surrounding Ghost in the Shell

Based on a Japanese manga of the same name, Ghost in the Shell sparked a whitewashing controversy when the American actress Scarlett Johansson was cast as the lead character, who is originally Japanese, in the film adaptation.

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Scarlett Johansson in a still from Ghost in the Shell (2017)
Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell (2017)

The film portrays Johansson’s character as an Asian woman whose brain is transplanted into a white body, a narrative choice perceived as tone-deaf. Although the movie featured notable Asian actors like Takeshi Kitano and Chin Han in supporting roles, people argued that the same could have been done for the lead character of Major as well.

The filmmakers, however, dismissed the accusations of whitewashing, claiming that the movie’s plot required it. Director, Rupert Sanders also defended the casting, saying that Johansson’s international popularity was the reason for her casting.

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Scarlett Johansson as Major Mira Killian

It led to many discussions about the lack of opportunities for Asian actors, hindering their chances to prove their bankability and perpetuating the cycle of underrepresentation. The incident prompted widespread discussion about the need for progress in casting practices and the industry’s responsibility to authentically reflect diversity.

Ghost in the Shell is available on Prime Video.

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Written by Laxmi Rajput

Articles Published: 2454

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.