Though it’s not strictly speaking apples to apples, there’s a particular weight of expectation pressing down on the proverbial shoulders of Ghost in the Shell following The Great Wall. For all of its ambition, Zhang Yimou’s Chinese epic struggled to leave much of an impression on critics, while early box office forecasts estimate that Legendary Entertainment and the China Film Group are bracing for a $75 million loss.
Much like The Great Wall before it, Rupert Sanders’ live-action Ghost in the Shell movie was lambasted for its decision to appoint Scarlett Johansson as The Major – known as Motoko Kusanagi in the original, genre-defining manga. Cries of whitewashing followed, but to their credit, both Johansson and Sanders have tackled concerns all throughout production. Will it be enough to offset any negative buzz? Time will tell.
With little over three weeks to go until release, Paramount is beginning to ramp up excitement with a barrage of TV spots, each more stylish than the last. Following Wednesday’s promo of ScarJo’s one-of-a-kind cyborg booting online, today brings forth a trio of brand new snippets, which together tease the cyberpunk action peppered throughout Paramount’s live-action tentpole, not to mention the crippling frailty of memory.
The latter is set to be instrumental in the story of Rupert Sanders’ adaptation in the sense that The Major, engineered to be the fearless leader of Tokyo’s Section 9 intelligence squad, begins to question the Powers That Be over at Hanka Robotics. Did they craft her identity, or steal it?
Ghost in the Shell boots online March 31st. It’ll also feature Beat Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouelet and Game of Thrones star Pilou Asbæk as Batou.