Paramount is steamrolling past critics toward its imminent rollout of “Ghost in the Shell,” a sci-fi action thriller based on a popular Japanese manga series and set in a world where many humans have opted for “cyber enhancements.”
The project received criticism across the board, including from Margaret Cho and George Takei, for casting white actress Scarlett Johansson in the lead character, which was renamed from Motoko Kusanagi to Major. Mamoru Oshii, director of the 1995 anime version, recently voiced his support for the project, noting that the character could be any race since she is a cyborg.
The studio has released a banging first five minutes in what reads as a move to drum up interest in the controversial project. It opens with Johansson as Major free flying off of a skyscraper, crashing through a glass window, and saving all hell from breaking loose at the hands of an evil cyborg spider. As she attempts to get information from the dying cyborg, it says: “Collaborate with Hanka Robotics and be destroyed.”
Check out the extended clip below, and see if it whets your appetite: