The First ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Trailer Is a Lurid Dystopian Dream
This past weekend, Paramount Pictures kicked off the publicity tour for its upcoming Ghost in the Shell adaptation with a global launch party in Tokyo. Cast and crew were on hand to talk about the film; exhibitions of the film’s art and costume designs were on display for those in attendance. For the rest of us, something even better was announced: the first theatrical trailer for Ghost in the Shell is here, and it is not exactly short on style.
This first trailer gives us our first good look at the character design for Scarlett Johansson’s Major as well as the futuristic feel of the city and the supporting characters. Much like the comics and the animated series, Ghost in the Shell wears its pop culture references on its sleeve, giving us a language of movie references that will immediately be understood by any fans of science fiction. Here’s a dash of Blade Runner, there a dollop of The Matrix trilogy, and through it all, the trailer promises to pull out all the stops on its incredible special effects and dystopian urban landscapes.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that the first Ghost in the Shell trailer does very little to reassure people who have accused the movie of whitewashing. There’s still time for the film to prove critics wrong — and one trailer is by no means the final product — but an important part of being a discerning viewer is being willing to adopt the perspective of someone whose cultural experiences are not your own. If I were Japanese American, I’m not sure I’d be happy with what I just watched. And I would want people to listen to why I feel that way.
Here is the full plot synopsis for Ghost in the Shell:
Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.