Paramount released a whole new Ghost In The Shell clip this Wednesday evening. And fans of sci-fi cyberpunk must be pleased: it’s five minutes of visual joy. A futuristic Tokyo comes to life in this clip, replete with outstanding colors and neon lights. Getting some robots and gunfights in on the action is a bonus too.
And the best part: we finally get to see how perfect Scarlett Johansson is for the role of the Major. The character is based on Major Motoko Kusanagi of the original 1995 Japanese animated film, which in turn was based on the widely popular manga.
Ghost In The Shell tells the story of the Major. Once a human, she was saved from a near-fatal accident through cybernetic enhancements. Now she’s a soldier dedicated to stopping hackers and cyber criminals.
The Clip: Building Leap
The clip begins with the Major standing atop a building, overlooking the city of Tokyo. Using some gadgets and, presumably, her enhanced cyber body’s senses, she observes a dinner meeting happening in the hotel below her. We also get a shot of a masked woman in traditional Japanese garb – a cyborg geisha server at the hotel.
Two men at the dinner talk about cybernetics and how the world has embraced the cyber enhancement age. One of them mentions how his daughter could learn French in the time it takes to sing a lullaby. The other argues about its risks to individuality and the human soul.
But then the cyborg server incapacitates one of the men, sticking a wire in his neck to apparently absorb some kind of data. Meanwhile, another group of armed men storm the dinner and open fire with submachine guns.
And that’s where the Major comes in, crashing in through the glass window in dramatic slow motion. With a few expert moves, she strikes at the gunmen and the cyborg. It’s at this moment that we realize that the film will be more a visual treat than anything else, combining action with striking set pieces. The Major threatens the cyborg, who sends her a warning before being gunned down herself.
The Right Woman For The Role
Paramount was initially criticized for its casting choice, as Scarlett Johansson while the source material was Japanese. In spite of the cries of “whitewashing”, Johansson has managed to still stand out as the right choice for the Major.
The casting choice was well-received by Japanese fans, who assumed that a white actress would be cast anyway, given how her race is a total non-factor in Ghost In The Shell‘s story. The point is that the character struggles with her humanity because of her cybernetic body. The ethnicity of her body isn’t the point of attention.
And Mamoru Oshii, who directed the original film, visited the set and said that Johansson “went above and beyond” his expectations for the role.
Ghost In The Shell hits theaters March 31.