'Ghost In The Shell' Trailer: Super Bowl Spot Rips Off Scarlett Johansson's Face

ghost in the shell scarlett johansson
Scarlett Johansson as The Major, a conveniently non-Japanese name for the protagonist of The Ghost In The Shell, an iconic anime movie. (c) Paramount Pictures

The Ghost in the Shell Super Bowl spot may not have a nifty cover of “Enjoy the Silence,” but it does have Scarlett Johansson getting her face torn off.

Johansson is the Major — probably because Paramount Pictures knows exactly how weird it is for Johansson to play a character with the real name Motoko Kusanagi —  a cyborg Public Security Section 9 commander pursuing a shapeshifting hacker known as The Puppet Master. But it’s not just another case, because only The Puppet Master understands Kusanagi’s alienation from humanity and the perils of transcending these frail human shells and their limited capacities.

This Ghost in the Shell will be directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) and written by Jamie Moss (Street Kings). Their previous credits don’t exactly scream “complex transhumanist philoso-thriller,” but all the footage released so far certainly looks the part. Plus, Ghost in the Shell has Juliette Binoche (Certified Copy, Godzilla) and Takeshi Kitano (Sonatine, Battle Royale), so that’s fun.

Here it is, the Super Bowl trailer for Johansson’s Ghost in the Shell:

Somehow the cyberpunk aesthetic hasn’t seen much of an update since Blade Runner, but Ghost in the Shell looks to rectify that. Or, at least, toss in a bunch of skyscraper-sized holograms. Between this and the compelling trailer, Ghost in the Shell shows that you don’t need to completely reinvent the cyberpunk wheel to give us something that looks at least a little new and different. All it takes is crab-walking geisha-bots, sky koi and miles of ethernet cable.

Ghost in the Shell is out in theaters March 31.

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