The live-action film based on Masamune Shirow’s acclaimed manga (and anime) series Ghost in the Shell hits theaters next week, but studio Paramount Pictures has released a clip from the film that fans of the source material will likely find familiar.
The scene features Scarlett Johansson’s cybernetically augmented protagonist dispatching a trigger-happy criminal in a channel filled with shallow water. Her ability to turn nearly invisible (to human eyes, at least) allows her to sneak up on her target, and then her heavily augmented body finishes the job.
Fans of Masamune’s original Ghost in the Shell will no doubt recall the scene playing out in the manga series and anime, with the character played by Johansson in the live-action film bringing an explosive sequence to an end in similar fashion.
Directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) from a script penned by Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton) and Jamie Moss (Street Kings), Ghost in the Shell casts Johansson as The Major, a human heavily augmented with cybernetic implants who leads an elite special ops unit dubbed Section 9.
Masamune’s series was first published in 1989, and chronicled the exploits of an elite anti-cyberterrorism agency in a future version of Japan at a point when sophisticated hackers are able to manipulate far more than people’s home computers. The series set the group’s adventures against heavy philosophical themes regarding the nature of humanity and the potential tipping point between man and machine in a society when cybernetic augmentation runs rampant.
The live-action Ghost in the Shell has been heavily criticized for its decision to cast Johansson and other non-Asian actors in the lead roles rather than using Asian or Asian-American actors. Along with Johansson, the film stars Michael Pitt (Seven Psychopaths) as Kuze, Beat Takeshi Kitano (Autoreiji: Biyondo) as Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) as Dr. Ouelet, and Pilou Asbæk (Lucy) as Batou.
The live-action Ghost in the Shell hits theaters March 31.
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