Of all the great many characters that Scarlett Johansson has portrayed on the big screen, Ghost in the Shell arguably heralds one of the actress’ more challenging roles yet.
To date, ScarJo has embodied psychokinetic superhumans in Lucy and smart, funny, and ultimately seductive AI (or Samantha, if we’re staying on a first-name basis) for Her, but Ghost in the Shell will stretch Johansson’s physical and emotional range like never before as the actress looks to introduce Major Motoko Kusanagi – or simply The Major – to the moviegoing masses. Engineered to be the flagship product of Hanka Robotics, The Major is a best-in-class human cyborg capable of fighting crime head on without so much as batting an eyelid. Hanka’s technological assets are under threat from the city’s ring of terrorists, leaving Johansson’s protagonist with little choice but to spearhead the elite task force known as Section 9 so as to protect the city and, ultimately, uncover the truth behind her makeshift identity.
It’s a pitch that ought to interest anyone with even a passing interest in the cyberpunk genre, and with a March 31st release date looming large, Empire has lifted the lid an all-new action shot from Ghost in the Shell that sees The Major hitch a ride. It’s an appropriately futuristic motorcycle, too, while there’s also a pair of stylish one-sheets designed to separate friend (ScarJo’s no-nonsense Major) from foe (Kuze?). After budding fans dissected the film’s second and final trailer, we know that Rupert Sanders’ live-action manga movie will toy with some form of connection between The Major and her sworn nemesis, but will it shed light on our hero’s shady past?
Ghost in the Shell is booked in for release on March 31st.