Following more than a year of criticism, controversy and reassurances, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures have released the first look at the live-action adaptation of “Ghost in the Shell,” starring Scarlett Johansson, in the form of five brief teasers.
The videos offer only the glimpses of this interpretation of Masamune Shirow’s cyberpunk saga. In the first, what appears to be a cyborg geisha walks down a dark hallway. The second snippet shows Johansson’s The Major rising out of bed, removing some wires from the back of her neck. In the third, we see The Major caress the face of a woman, prompting her to ask, “What are you?” The fourth depitcs a distressed Aramaki (played by Takeshi Kitano) as he fires a single shot from his revolver. In the final clip, The Major walks down a hallway, gun drawn, only to encounter a cult-like gathering of bald men. “This is just the beginning,” a voiceover claims.
There’s not enough in the teasers to indicate the film’s plot, but they certainly establish a tone. The seminal manga, and subsequent anime, follows the Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.
Directed by Rupert Sanders (“Snow White and the Huntsman”), “Ghost in the Shell” also stars Beat Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouelet, Michael Pitt as Kuze, Pilou Asbaek as Batou, and Kaori Momoi. The members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara and Tuwanda Manyimo. The film opens March 31, 2017.
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