Less than a week away is one of the most anticipated and controversial movies based on a beloved manga series (comic of sorts), Ghost in the Shell. It stars American actress Scarlett Johansson and Japanese actor Takeshi Kitano, who you may- or may not- remember from the ‘90s sci-fi thriller Johnny Mnemonic.
Set in the near future, Major (Johansson) is the first of her kind cyber-enhanced human, saved from a terrible crash to become a perfect soldier. She is devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. And when terrorism begins hacking into people’s minds in order to control them, Major is only being able to stop it. But she discovers a new enemy when she learns her life was not saved, it was stolen. She stops at nothing to recover her past and stop whoever did this to her before they can do it again.
Some of the controversy surrounding this adaptation of Ghost in the Shell is anything but new. There were a number of frustrated fans that expressed outrage, myself included. The beloved manga and anime series has been one of the few that has crossed over into English speaking markets and has a broad appeal to people outside the genre- which is one of the reasons it is being made into a film.
Then the team behind the film did something incredibly smart: they released the first five minutes of the movie.
Ghost in the Shell is going to be a visually stunning action-packed showcase. It’s directed by Rupert Sanders who directed Snow White and the Huntsmen. In those five minutes, Sanders managed to make a lot of the fears about the film disappear as he painted an anime-inspired backdrop with incredible cinematography and visual FX. It’s darned near a shot-for-shot reimaging of the anime itself, from the building free-fall to the graphic way that Major takes out her targets. If the rest of the film stays as true to the manga as the first five minutes, I think fans will be pleasantly surprised with this adaptation.
It will be rated PG-13 and opens nationwide on March 31st.
Backlash about Whitewashing: http://www.indiewire.com/2016/07/ghost-in-the-shell-producer- explains-casting-scarlett-johansson-backlash-1201702194/