Scarlett Johansson is joining forces (again) with Ghost In The Shell director Rupert Sanders, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sanders is teaming up with Joel Silver for Rub & Tug, a movie based on the true story of Jean Marie Gill, who ran Pittsburgh's massage parlor and prostitution scene in the 70s and 80s while identifying as a man named Dante "Tex" Gill. Johansson is slated to play Gill.
Some controversy about the part broke out when, after the initial announcement, a look back at Gill's obituary revealed that he identified as a man and may have begun undergoing gender confirmation surgery.
Gill rose to such prominence that he took on figures like the mob, and apparently also ran an anabolic steroids ring in connection to the Pittsburgh Steelers. While his story is not a well-known one, it's fraught with sexual politics, suspicious attacks, and tax fraud. He died in 1987 at 72 years old.
In response to the backlash, Johansson issued a statement to Bustle, via her representative: "Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman's reps for comment."
The last time Johansson partnered with Sanders, they were on the receiving end of criticism for whitewashing Ghost In The Shell's originally Japanese character of Major. No other cast members have been announced for their upcoming venture, but it will be co-produced by Silver's Silver Pictures, Tobey Maguire’s Material Pictures, and Johansson’s These Pictures.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misgendered Dante "Tex" Gill. According to Gill's wishes, as they are currently understood, his pronouns have been changed.