Plans to make 'Rub & Tug' could reportedly be scrapped following Scarlett Johansson's recent withdrawal from the project.

The 33-year-old actress had initially accepted a role in the controversial movie, which tells the story of a mob-linked massage parlour owner, but Scarlett later withdrew from the film amid a backlash over plans for her to play Dante 'Tex' Gill, who operated massage parlours as a front for prostitution.

Gill - who had relationships with women and referred to himself as ''he'' - was born a woman, but dressed as a man.

In light of the backlash from the trans community and others, Scarlett pulled out of the project last week and efforts to make the film at all have now been thrown into serious doubt, according to TheWrap.

Scarlett was initially supposed to produce the movie through her These Pictures company, but it's currently unclear as to whether she will remain connected to 'Rub & Tug'.

After pulling out of the movie last week, Scarlett released a statement in which she explained her decision.

She said: ''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.

''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 realise it was insensitive.

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