Ghost in the Shell Trailer

Director Rupert Sanders (Snow White and The Huntsman) attempts to adapt a live action version of the groundbreaking anime film, Ghost in the Shell. Set in the near-distant future, an explosion of technological advances in robotics and communication brings both prosperity and new avenues for crime. Cyber terrorist are able hack into individuals minds and steal information with a few keyboard strokes. To battle this new type of crime, special unit Section 9 is formed with its star policewoman, the Major (Scarlett Johansson).  But she’s no ordinary cop. After her original body was completely destroyed, only her brain remains incased in a cybernetic figure. Doing so may have saved her life, gave her tremendous strength, and agility, but at a cost of her prior life’s memories. While fighting the new age of hacker threats, the Major soon learns that a greater conspiracy is at play. One connected to the criminal underworld, the Hanka Robotics company, and her past.

Fans of the original anime should have little to fear.  If this trailer is any indication, it looks like a pretty faithful adaptation. Those who have seen the original will recognize several shots pulled directly from the anime like: The shelling sequence, the water fight, Major’s hair and equipment, even familiar faces like Batou (Pilou Asbaek). Visually the trailer is stunning. We’re given a glistening Neo-Tokyo with vibrant colors and dark shadows. It’s a near match to the anime’s own design with even Johansson bearing a striking resemblance to the Major.

I’ll admit I had my doubts in the beginning when Rupert Sanders was placed at the helm. I was less than impressed with Snow White and the Huntsman but here it’s almost like night and day. Clearly, he’s done his homework and is more than likely a fan of the source material. What further adds to my confidence in the film is that original anime director, Mamorui Oshii, complimented both Johansson and developers on their efforts. He’s even went as far to say “It’ll be the prettiest film yet in the series.”

So what’s happening in this trailer? We know that some of the plot will deal with the Hanka corporation and activists trying to destroy it. I suspect the original villain from the anime, Puppetmaster, will make a big screen appearance as well. Who’s playing him however is anyone’s guess.

If there’s anything to complain about in the trailer, I would say I didn’t much care for the music. Using KI: Theory’s cover of Depeche Modes – Enjoy the Silence was an interesting choice, but I would have much rather preferred a more orchestral choice or even a new version of the original anime’s theme. Something else that bothers me is Johnasson’s name in the film, “The Major”? Original fully named Major Mokoto Kusanagi, this could be the filmmakers poor attempt to avoid confusion or further whitewashing controversy. Either way, I’m still excited to see more of Ghost in the Shell.  Fingers crossed the film continues to impress as we draw closer to release date. Ghost in the Shell hits theaters March 31, 2017

 

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