The Ghost in the Shell anime franchise has many fans, and baffles many others…or, like me, you could be both, having seen Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence and still not quite gotten what it’s about. What we all can agree on, though, is that the groundbreaking cyberpunk visuals in every iteration are stunning, and thankfully, the live-action version seems to have taken that virtual baton and run down the information superhighway with it. Likewise, director Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman may have divided audiences, but almost all respected the imagery he put up on the screen.
Scarlett Johansson seems to be bringing the same slight otherworldliness she brought to her virtual character in Her, as the consciousness (ghost) inside a robo-body (shell) that looks nude but without the naughty bits (robots, after all, have no use for reproductive organs…at least not the kind that look human). It’s true that she doesn’t look Asian, but considering an Asian scientist actually did build a robot that looks like Scarlett Johansson a few months back, it may not be far-fetched to assume her body was designed that way for a reason. Interestingly, she is still only referred to by the name “Major”–could it be she won’t actually be playing franchise protagonist Motoko Kusanagi after all?
One thing we can say: Pilou Asbaek, star of the excellent Danish drama A War, is definitely playing Motoko’s usual partner Batou, and he truly looks the part; expect a bright future for this guy. And those creepy robo-geishas will give us nightmares.
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