At an event in Tokyo last night, Paramount Pictures released its first full-length trailer for its remake of the sci-fi anime classic Ghost In The Shell. Yes, it's visually beautiful. Yes, it's got some crazy CGI. And yes, Scarlet Johansson is still going to be playing a character that was meant to be Japanese. In the trailer, we get a brief background into Scarlet Johansson's The Major, a cyborg infused with another person's consciousness. We see her being built with some pretty great CGI. We also see her being a badass — shooting down bad guys while gliding through the air in a series of flips, tumbles, and anti-gravity runs that will remind you of The Matrix. The trailer also introduces the movie's conflicts, namely that The Major is a cyborg having an existential crisis. She's longing to be connected to the real lives of real humans. But she's also coming to grips with the fact that her entire origin story — that she was saved from near-death by being turned into a machine — might be a lie. In all honesty, the trailer doesn't look as epic as you may have hoped. Sure, there are robot geisha, aerial stunts, and stunning visuals. But that's kind of it. If anything, it's reminiscent of Johansson's last solo action movie, Lucy. And considering the source material, that's disappointing. In case you haven't heard, Ghost In The Shell is the feature-film adaptation of the classic, and incredibly popular, anime and manga.
Perhaps even more disappointing is that Paramount is still moving forward with this movie despite backlash for casting Johannsson as a Japanese character, rather than someone Asian. In a world filled with Rinko Kikuchis, Kimiko Glenns, and Karen Fukuharas, it's hard to believe they couldn't find an alternative.
Ghost In The Shell is set to hit theaters on March 31, 2017. Watch the trailer, below.
Correction: A previous version of this article listed Chinese-American actresses as possible casting choices for this role. It has been updated to list Japanese actresses.