With Scarlett Johansson’s name on the masthead, Ghost in the Shell is perhaps the most buzzworthy of Hollywood’s in-development manga adaptations. It’s also much further along than Alita: Battle Angel, Adam Wingard’s Death Note and the long-rumored Akira reboot, with a release date already pinned down for late March.
Cries of whitewashing notwithstanding, that means there’s a hushed excitement swirling around the Rupert Sanders-directed feature, not least because it’ll have Johansson flaunting her action skills once more as Major Motoko Kusanagi, an elite cyborg who spearheads a military team known as Section 9. With an international ensemble in tow, Sanders has pulled together all the necessary ingredients for a crowd-pleasing actioner – on paper, at least – but while chatting to Collider, Scarlett Johansson dove a little deeper to discuss the director’s world-building process.
I think we’re very used to the idea of the future in an armageddon context or a post-apocalyptic kind of idea or it’s very stringent, like Spike [Jonze] did with Her. Everything’s kind of digitized and computerized and clean or absence of character. This movie, I think, it’s Rupert’s idea of, he described it to me as cities built on cities and the abundance of waste. It’s a kind of collage of cultures and it’s sort of identity-less in that as a whole melange of different kinds of textures and colors and, it’s really rich.
A true cyberpunk universe, then. Going one step further, the actress went on to stress that fans of the Ghost in the Shell source material will have plenty to look forward to in the 2017 feature.
The depth of this movie is amazing. I find that the sets are so incredibly detailed and the thought that goes into each set even in the very sterile sets, like all the Hanka hallway stuff and laboratory stuff. There’s a lot of texture and depth to the way that it’s shot and the way that it’s dressed. Of course the format that they’re shooting in also really adds a lot of texture and depth too. So it’s visually delicious, I think for people. Especially fans of the material will appreciate the look of it a lot, as Rupert’s been very dedicated to making that stuff come to life for people.
Ghost in the Shell opens March 31, 2017, at which point Johansson will be flanked by Pilou Asbæk, Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche, Kaori Momoi, Rila Fukushima, Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara, and Tuwanda Manyimo.