Paramount Pictures seems to be under the impression we’re all still going to see its live-action version of Ghost in the Shell in spite of the movie’s whitewashing controversy over Scarlett Johansson as the lead. Check out the trailer below.
Sadly, the company is probably right. Doctor Strange faced its own backlash for casting Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, a character who is a male, Tibetan monk in the original comics. In spite of the uproar, the movie opened to strong reviews and a gross of around $150 million in its first two weeks in the U.S.
Not to mention, the new Ghost in the Shell trailer, which premiered Nov. 13, already has more than 7 million views on YouTube.
Some of those people have watched the trailer to further the investigation into the movie’s whitewashing, but judging by the YouTube comments, many others are just excited fans.
So what happens in the Ghost in the Shell trailer?
In terms of the Ghost in the Shell trailer’s actual content, the two-minute preview first gives us a glimpse at the Major (Johansson) taking out a group of renegade robots. The Hollywood Reporter notes this scene seems almost specifically designed to lean into the whitewashing criticism the movie has received.
The rest of the trailer introduces us to Johansson’s cyborg character, effectively conveying a sense of isolation and longing for something more. Sci-fi fans will, of course, enjoy the almost requisite battle scenes, with at least six different action sequences featured.
Though the futuristic city setting will look familiar to anyone who’s ever seen a movie set in the future, the uninitiated to Ghost in the Shell will likely enjoy the trailer. It projects an intriguing sci-fi adventure that touches on themes of identity and belonging before ending with just the right amount of conspiracy in order to compel viewers into theaters.
Will fans like Ghost in the Shell?
Among Ghost in the Shell fans, there’s some discrepancy over the two minutes. As with most adaptations, there are people who will always prefer the original – though Ghost in the Shell presents a unique challenge since it has a manga, an anime series, and animated films to compare it to.
Director Rupert Sanders, who previously directed Snow White and the Huntsman, told The Hollywood Reporter that the movie will contain elements of all of the previous versions of Ghost in the Shell.
“I don’t think you could have taken the 1995 film and just remade it frame-by-frame; it’s too philosophical and too introspective,” he said. “That’s what so many people like about it, and I hope we’ve channeled that but built a bigger film around it.”
In spite of Sanders’s words, several people have already released articles on how certain framing in the trailer emulates what came before to a tee.
Others have criticized Ghost in the Shell for being too “Hollywoodised,” meaning it looks too much like movies ranging from RoboCop to The Matrix to Blade Runner. The Guardian conveys concern about the script’s direction, saying there’s too much of a focus on the Major’s past.
At this point, it’s unclear how well Ghost in the Shell will go over when it hits theaters in 2017. Did the trailer give you hope or pry it from your now cold, dead hands?