Scarlett Johansson disconnects from her docking station and goes to work in the enigmatic first teasers for Ghost in the Shell, DreamWorks and Paramount’s movie based on the influential manga series about an elite anti-cybercrime unit.
The brief, glitchy, visually striking vignettes glimpse Johansson in action as the black-bobbed cyborg special-ops agent known as the Major. In one scene she’s asked, “What are you?”; in another, she packs a pistol and encounters a ring of people hooked up to bundles of wires. “This is just the beginning,” an ominous voice says.
Johansson has been a controversial choice as the star of Ghost in the Shell, since the source material is considered by many fans to be distinctly Japanese. In the manga and anime versions, the Major’s name is Motoko Kusanagi.
Responding to accusations of whitewashing in July, producer Steven Paul told Buzzfeed he doesn’t think fans will be disappointed by the film’s “international approach.”
Noting that cast includes Japanese, Chinese, American, and British actors, Paul added, “I think we’ve done the manga comic great honor. As I said, the fans will be very happy, because there’s a great respect that’s been paid to the manga. … We’ve been very, very careful. Obviously, there’s some new imagination, as well. I mean, like anything, when you’re making a movie, you’ve gotta bring your own.”
Directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman), Ghost in the Shell also stars Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche, Takeshi Kitano, Rila Fukushima, Kaori Momoi, Pilou Asbæk, and Yutaka Izumihara.
The film opens March 31.