Since it was announced that Scarlett Johansson would star in director Rupert Sanders’ live-action adaptation of classic anime/manga “Ghost in the Shell,” the film has been met with varying levels of uncertainty from its fandom. In addition to claims that Johansson’s casting is another example of Hollywood “white-washing” an Asian property, there’s the fear that the film simply won’t live up to the standards established by the comics and animated incarnations that precedes it.
“[T]his isn’t the shit Hollywood version” of the anime property, Sanders recently told Empire, while Johansson says, “This is a ride that’s not just explosive and exciting, but also curious and reflective.”
Mamoru Oshii, the director of the anime based on the original manga by Masamune Shirow, has already given the live-action incarnation his seal of approval. “Scarlett Johansson playing Motoko from beginning to end has gone above and beyond my expectations for the role,” the filmmaker said in November. “I’m sure this will be the most gorgeous film in the series so far.”
Based on Shirow’s cyberpunk manga, as well as Oshii’s subsequent anime, the live-action film stars Johansson as The Major, a cyborg-human hybrid who leads Section 9, a task force assigned to stop cyber-criminals. Now they face a new enemy devoted to destroying Hanka Robotic’s artificial intelligence technology.
Opening March 31, 2017, “Ghost in the Shell” also stars Pilou Asbæk, Beat Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt, Kaori Momoi, Rila Fukushima, Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara and Tuwanda Manyimo.
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