Ghost in the Shell Trailer: Disaster or Genius?

ghost in the shell

The trailer for Ghost in the Shell is finally here–and I’m having a hard time getting excited about it.

When Scarlett Johansson was announced as the lead for Ghost in the Shell, outrage spread over the Internet. A flurry of controversy also surrounded Dr. Strange upon its inception for the same reason. Both films should have major Asian characters. It’s no secret that Hollywood loves to whitewash, though for a while, Ghost in the Shell has been in the background. With the release of the trailer earlier this morning, we get our first real glimpse into the upcoming film. I’m not going to lie, I’m not completely sold yet.

WARNING: Minor spoilers regarding the main Ghost in the Shell plot follow.

I remember being in high school, sitting hunched over my best friend’s desktop watching the opening sequence from the Ghost in the Shell anime about three dozen times. Originally a manga by Masamune Shirow, it was adapted into an anime in 1995. It tells the story of a character known as Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg security officer with a mission to destroy a deadly hacker organization. Without giving too much away, Major is a ‘mind’ that has been uploaded into a cyber-engineered body after an accident that left her paralyzed. During the film, she seeks to discover her previous identity. All the while, she must fulfill her task to eliminate the threats to the cyber world.

The trailer itself is fairly underwhelming – it’s a strange mishmash of video game graphics and live action. In some parts, I wasn’t even really sure what I was watching.  Two female characters share a kiss, but it’s unclear if this is an aspect of Major’s identity or a longing to be a part of the world in which she exists. Scarlett Johansson pulls off the deadpan wistful robot role well. Holographs project onto buildings,there are martial arts and stunning stunts, and every iota of the trailer is woven with an energetic cyberpunk aesthetic. Paramount shoved in some slow motion glass breaking, lots of lights and buttons, and diving off buildings to create the appropriate feelings of peril.

Ghost in the Shell will be released in theaters March 31, 2017. You can view the official trailer here. What do you think, folks? Is Paramount going to do Ghost in the Shell justice, or are they leading it down a path of ruin? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Bekah

Bekah has a B.F.A. in Theatre Performance from Anderson University and is the Executive Assistant at Saga Event Planning. She is a frequent convention attendee and cosplayer and co-hosts The Geekiary webcast “The Bitching Dead”.


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2 thoughts on “Ghost in the Shell Trailer: Disaster or Genius?

  1. To be honest, I don’t think a trailer gives us enough or valuable information about how they’re gonna handle all the psychological thing, essence, and actual story of the original Ghost In The Shell, and that’s what it actually has me concerned, because we’re talking about a Hollywood adaptation here. The whole thing could be potentially butchered to be more appealing to a bigger amount of people who don’t usually consume these kind of things.
    I still think Batou looks awful. I’m also not sold by them just putting Takeshi Kitano there.
    The song we can hear on the trailer is cool, I love Ki:Theory and it kind of fits, but at the same time it doesn’t really feel like Ghost In The Shell. Kenji Kawai’s music adds a lot more personality and uniqueness to the original films and the lack of it here kind of dissappoints… But IGN uploaded additional footage of the shelling sequence which actually has Kenji Kawai’s music on it…? So I don’t know.

    About the whitewashing (it’s an opinion): We can argue about whitewashing related to the rest of the cast, but when it comes to Major Kusanagi, even when her surname is in fact Japanese, we’re talking about a cyborg/container here. I don’t think it demands to be portrayed by an Asian actor… Also, when it comes to the whole Ghost In The Shell being adapted by Hollywood, as I previously said, there’s things that concern me most than if they cast an Asian actor for the Major or not.

    1. The whole scenery and photography looks really nice, tho. I like what they did and it seems like they paid attention to the details. But I still got my expectations set low.

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