A brand new trailer for Ghost in the Shell, the new Scarlett Johansson film based on a Japanese anime, premiered today. It shows us a dystopian society where androids live alongside humans and battle for control.
Johansson plays a human-cyborg hybrid known as The Major. She has been tasked with maintaining the peace in her dangerous world. She is conflicted about her past and suspicious of her creators. The trailer suggests that she will be caught in the middle of an ongoing war as she desperately searches for the truth of her origin. The special effects in this film are quite breathtaking, as are the costumes, props and cinematography.
Ghost in the Shell first hit the big screen in 1995 as an animated feature. It was set in the year 2029 where increased access to the global network created a space for serious, international crime. The Major, or Motoko Kusanagi, was a member of Section 9, an organization of cyborgs that fought network hacking. The character reappeared in several films and Japanese comic books.
When it was first announced that Johansson would be playing the main character, many people were upset. They claimed it was another case of whitewashing. The Major and the other characters in the story are from a Japanese film, so it would make sense that they would be Japanese as well. Director Rupert Sanders responded to the criticism when the trailer first premiered at an event in Tokyo. He said, “I think whenever you cast someone someone’s going to be critical about it. To me it was, you know, I stand by my decision — [Scarlett Johansson]’s the best actress of her generation and I was flattered and honored that she would be in this film.” Sanders is convinced Johansson’s performance in the film will be enough to get fans of the original story on board.
It appears that even though the producers of the film claim it will appeal to an international audience, it will still retain a lot of Japanese influence. There are geisha-like robots, Japanese signs and several Asian characters. A few characters can be heard speaking Japanese in the trailer as well. The new film’s accuracy will be decided when it releases March 31, 2017.