Ghost in the Shell dropped its second action-packed trailer on Monday (February 13), and Scarlett Johansson's cyborg heroine and her disjointed memories take center stage. Michael Pitt also makes his first full appearance as rogue cyborg Kuze, the central villain of the film.
In the trailer, Johnasson's Major says she only remembers bits and pieces of her past, including her almost-death and subsequent reconstruction as a cyborg by an elite government task force called Section 9. (The only organic part of her that remains is a portion of her brain.) But Kuze — who, like Major, is made of mostly synthetic parts — offers a more pragmatic viewpoint: "They did not save your life; they stole it."
Fans of Mamoru Oshii's groundbreaking 1995 anime will notice the familiar iconography of the manga and anime, with certain scenes — like Major's free fall — seemingly ripped from the anime. In director Rupert Sanders's live-action Ghost in the Shell, Johansson plays an elite government-issued cyborg known solely as Major, whose human brain is still intact. She dedicates herself to thwarting cybercriminals partly because she feels so disconnected from herself. (Enter Kuze, who makes things way more confusing for Major.)
The decision to cast Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi, as she's known in Masamune Shirow's original Japanese manga series, drew ire from fans who criticized it as yet another example of Hollywood whitewashing. Sanders and producer Steven Paul have since clarified that their film, due out March 31, is an "international" take on the source material, implying that some of the characters in the anime are no longer Japanese, including Major.