'Ghost In The Shell’ Trailer 2: Scarlett Johansson's New Movie Is Just 'Robocop'?

'Ghost in the Shell' has some difficult questions to ponder about the nature of human consciousness. Paramount Pictures

So there’s this new trailer 2 for the live-action Ghost in the Shell remake — you know, the one where Scarlett Johansson plays a character named Motoko Kusanagi, but they’ll probably just call her The Major the whole time to avoid further embarrassment over whitewashing — and it looks like the plot’s been changed significantly from the plot of the 1995 original.

While this new trailer for Ghost in the Shell keeps some of the old stuff, especially those awesome briefcase machine pistols, it looks to have substantially altered the original film’s conception of identity in a cyberpunk age where machine and human consciousness can intermingle fluidly:

In the universe of Ghost in the Shell, your ghost is the inviolable human element inside you — the consciousness that endures no matter how cybernetic you’ve become. Even Kusanagi, who is more robotic than most humans, retains her ghost… at least for a while. In the original Ghost in the Shell, Kusanagi finds that her ghost is not so separate after all and that even her fundamental identity can be intermixed and reconfigured with burgeoning artificial consciousnesses.

But will that be the case in Johansson’s 2017 version? Because Ghost in the Shell trailer 2 portrays very nearly the opposite plot, wherein The Major is searching for the truth of her identity and the nugget of real humanity anchoring her cyborg corporeality. Which is basically the plot of Robocop: Alex J. Murphy must rediscover the humanity within himself and exercise the will that no amount of programming can break or control.

Ghost in the Shell is not so cheery and does not assume that there’s any element of humanity that is out of reach to technology. Instead, Kusanagi’s journey is the discovery of her composite identity, which exists in defiance of her society’s comforting lie: that some part of us will always be human and that our ghosts will endure even the most radical syntheses with computer intelligence.

Perhaps this is also the plot of the new Ghost in the Shell, even if this new trailer suggests the opposite.

We’ll find out just how much director Rupert Sanders and screenwriter Jamie Moss have Robocopped Ghost in the Shell on March 31.

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