HERO COMPLEX

First footage from 'Ghost in the Shell' shows Scarlett Johansson's cyborg side

The live-action adaptation of “Ghost in the Shell” starring Scarlett Johansson as the cyberpunk-fighting cyborg just dropped its first bit of footage. No doubt manga, anime and genre fans everywhere will have something to say about this brief glimpse of the new dystopia. 

The first footage from the feature film dropped during the finale of “Mr. Robot,” because if a show about hackers taking down evil corporations entertains you, wait until you breathe in the cyberpunk horror that is “Ghost in the Shell.” 

The movie takes place in a fictional, futuristic Japanese city and follows “The Major” (Johansson) and the members of a covert task force within the Japanese National Public Safety Commission made up of former detectives and military operatives. The task force fights cybercriminals in a dark, biotech future where the line between computers and humans is marred (usually with a lot of elaborate and dramatic wires and cybernetic plugs). Major is a member of this crime-fighting brigade but is also a symbol of the future’s blurred lines of biotechnology as the character has gone through various mechanical upgrades to her person which endow her with many special abilities. 

See the most-read stories in Entertainment this hour »

Adapted from Masamune Shirow’s manga series, the classic work of manga previously inspired the animated film by Mamoru Oshii in 1995 which helped solidify “Ghost in the Shell’s” place as a cornerstone in cyberpunk literature and entertainment. 

The 2017-planned movie has already kicked up quite a bit of commotion. When the news dropped that main character, named Maj.  Motoko Kusanagi in the series and animated feature, would be played by Johansson, fan outrage over the alleged  “whitewashing” was loud.

Thus far director Rupert Sanders (“Snow White and the Huntsman”) has yet to comment on the situation but there’s already a plethora of commentary surrounding the decision.

As for the first look, the newly released clips show only nuggets from the feature film, which filmed in New Zealand, and it may be some time before we get anything more, so what do you think? Is this the Public Security Section 9 you envisioned?

Here are the five short clips: 

meredith.woerner@latimes.com

Twitter: @MdellW 

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
73°