After “stealth strikes,” with a handful of teaser clips amounting to no more than seconds of screentime, Paramount Studios has unleashed a proper, full-length trailer for its Ghost in the Shell remake. Those who wondered how Scarlett Johansson might look–packing heat with a (white) skintight jumpsuit–needn’t wonder any longer. The action heroine spares no prisoners in this clip, blasting through heavily-armed opposition with an arsenal of future weapons and flashy acrobatics. Give it a watch.
Newcomers might walk away from this trailer with a sudden, subliminal urge to buy Depeche Mode’s “Violator” on iTunes, along with a lot of questions about this flick’s arresting cyberpunk future. What’s the deal with the robo geisha who turn into freaky spider bots? Who’s that creepy guy in the hoodie? Well, if you’re a longtime fan, or if you’ve just recently read our handy beginners’ guide to GitS, you’ll see now that this remake actually looks… far more faithful remake than many expected?
The trailer shows that director Rupert Sanders is adhering very closely to the anime’s visuals. Indeed, some scenes–even specific shots–have been re-created almost exactly. The process where cybernetic organisms gain shell-like skin by being raised out of wax-like goo is just as it is in the original. The Major’s breathless chase in her “thermo-optical camouflage” suits ends in the same location, a canal surrounded by overbuilt housing divisions, and she brutalizes the gun-wielding suspect in much the same fashion as before.
Interestingly, the first half of GitS’ iconic sky-diving intro looks to be a shot-for-shot recreation. Though, while the original take revolved around the Major executing a high-stakes assassination, this re-do looks to involve her intervening in a feud between organized crime factions. Of course, they could still just be separate shots edited to seem like they’re part of the same scene here.
We also get our first looks at the other members of the cyber-crimes unit, Section 9. There’s the Major’s second-in-command, Batou, the big, tough guy with the little bitty eyes. The trailer pretty concisely conveys that he’s a cyborg like the Major, acting as her #1 guy. However, it’s worth noting that he’s also something of alternate in the franchise, stepping up into the lead role on occasions when the Major is unavailable, or missing.
And then there’s Chief Aramaki, the older, revolver-emptying gentleman with the Dr. Wiley hairdo. He’s one of only two members of Section 9 to be fully human (aside from his cyberbrain, of course). The Major reports to this guy, though he’s often grumbling about having to roll his sleeves up and get involved in field work with her. That weariness comes off a bit when he’s dropping all those bullets away, no?
Juliette Binoche’s character, the “Dr. Ouelet” waxing cryptic about cybernetic origins, has actually been created for the movie, so there’s little to say about her. Though, the Major’s back-story has differed depending on which incarnation of the franchise is being discussed. In the Stand Alone Complex series, it’s revealed that, as a child, she had been gravely injured in a plane crash, and her consciousness was uploaded into an experimental synthetic body to save her. The notion of whether that was actually just a made-up story to deceive the Major, though, is something that likely won’t be clarified until this film is released.
And while speaking of those doubts, their apparent sower seems to be an altered version of the Puppet Master, made here to embody his name more literally by controlling a number of doll-like cyborgs on “strings.” In the anime, the Puppet Master is an AI who’s gained self-awareness and the ability to hack control of machines and cyborgs. It’s hard to say much about a few seconds of silhouettes, but it does seem like this remake has opted to put a more human face on the malcontent.
Any other clues we may missed? What did you think of the trailer? Sound off in the talkback.
Image Credits: Paramount Studios