First Look at Scarlett Johansson in ‘Ghost in the Shell’

Paramount and DreamWorks have just released the first official image from the upcoming live-action anime adaptation Ghost in the Shell starring actress Scarlett Johansson. Check it out below.

The film is based on the Japanese franchise of the same name. Originally published as a manga written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, Ghost in the Shell is set in a mid-twenty-first century possible future and follows the activities of Public Security Section 9 — a spec-ops team comprised of former military officers and police detectives.

Johansson in Ghost in the Shell

Set in the fictional city of Niihama (also known as New Port City), Ghost in the Shell reveals a future where computer technology has advanced to such a point that most people possess “cyberbrains” — a technological implant that allows their minds to interact with networks around them. In some cases of extreme trauma, it’s possible to replace large segments of the brain and body with prosthetic counter-parts. Major Motoko Kusanagi is one such person, living in a full-body prosthesis after an accident as a child. Played by Scarlett Johansson in the upcoming movie, Kusanagi and people like her are under risk of highly skilled hackers gaining access to, and control over, their bodies and minds.

Although GitS has already received several awards for it’s various other media, this first attempt at a live-action film has been met with controversy as some fans object to the casting of an American woman in the lead role instead of an East Asian actor. The majority of the cast is reportedly Japanese and there is already a petition being levied at DreamWorks and Paramount to reconsider Scarlett for the role in favour of a Japanese actress.

Also starring Michael Pitt (Funny Games, Boardwalk Empire), Pilou Asbæk (A Family), and Japanese entertainer Takeshi Kitano, Ghost in the Shell will be directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) and is currently due for a March 2017 release date.

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