After months of teasing fans with short clips and images, Paramount Pictures have finally unveiled the first full-length trailer for upcoming live-action adaptation Ghost In The Shell. Based on the 1995 series, written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, Ghost In The Shell sees Scarlett Johansson play lead character Motoko Kusanagi aka The Major, a special-ops cyborg who operates within a task force that deals with the most dangerous criminals and extremists.
The two-minute trailer, which can't help but evoke The Matrix or Blade Runner, features a lot of imagery we've seen in teasers, such as geisha-inspired robots, futuristic cityscapes and truly stunning set designs. However, this new sneak peek reveals a little more about the plot, including Johansson's Major searching for answers in terms of her existence. It also sees her don the iconic thermoptic suit which allows her to become invisible – which fans are understandably excited about.
While some took to social media to delight in the trailer, others used the new footage to further draw attention to the 'whitewashing' controversy surrounding the adaptation, regardless of what they thought of the trailer. One Twitter user openly wrote: "Ghost in the Shell movie actually looks good. Not interested in seeing more whitewashing in Hollywood tho. I'll pass," while another tweeted: "Sure, Scarlett Johansson looks good....but that don't cover up the disrespect."
"I think whenever you cast someone someone's going to be critical about it," British director Rupert Sanders said onstage at the film's global launch party in Japan on Sunday 13 November. "To me it was, you know, I stand by my decision. She's the best actress of her generation and I was flattered and honored that she would be in this film. So many people who were around the original anime have been vehemently in support of her because she's incredible and there are very few like her."
Mamoru Oshii, the filmmaker behind the anime movie version of Ghost in the Shell previously endorsed Johansson in the role too. Sam Yoshiba, a director at Kodansha – the company that holds the rights to the series – also urged recently that Johansson was well cast. "She has the cyberpunk feel" he told The Hollywood Reporter. "And we never imagined it would be a Japanese actress in the first place... this is a chance for a Japanese property to be seen around the world."
Ghost In The Shell is currently scheduled to be released in both the UK and the US on 31 March 2017.
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