Hollywood's attempts to launch live-action remakes of classic Japanese manga and anime have often landed with a thud, but there may be hope on the horizon.An adaptation of Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell is on the way starring Scarlett Johansson, and no she's not Asian so get over it, and some intriguing, very stylish teasers premiered during last night's Mr. Robot season finale that are definitely worth checking out.
What's cool about these teasers is how against-type they are, presenting brief, stylish flashes of time rather than actual scenes. They're very artistically done, and one hopes director Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) can maintain that throughout since it's similar to what Mamoru Oshii was able to pull off with the revered 1995 anime.
When Johansson was cast as the lead, complaints of white-washing emerged since the role is traditionally Japanese. It didn't help when the first images of her arrived and it seemed like there was some attempt to hide her Caucasian-ness. If there was a smart move on their part it was subtly changing her character's name to simply "The Major", although that's unlikely to quiet those who feel an Asian actress would have made more sense. Personally, I don't care. She's a friggin' cyborg.
Whatever you think of Johansson's casting the talent around her is refreshingly diverse with Pilou Asbaek, the legendary Beat Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt, Kaori Momoi, Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara, and Tuwanda Manyimo all taking parts big and small.
Color me excited for this one. Ghost in the Shell opens next year on March 31st. Check out all five teasers in the playlist below.