Featuring: tasteless whitewashing!

To say that the Ghost in the Shell has been met with controversy would be quite the understatement. The film came under fire primarily for casting Scarlett Johansson for the role of Major, a special ops human-cyborg who has always been portrayed as Japanese in both the manga and original anime. Fans cried out, rightfully so, at the latest example of Hollywood giving a high-profile Asian role to yet another white actor.

The blow-back to the casting was so fierce, producer Steve Paul had to issue a statement:

“There [are] all sorts of people and nationalities in the world in ‘Ghost in the Shell.’ We’re utilizing people from all over the world…There’s Japanese in it. There’s Chinese in it. There’s English in it. There’s Americans in it.”

It’s a bit of a cop-out answer, but there you go. Nevertheless, the film pressed on, and now we’ve been given our first look at the project in the form of five cryptically short teasers. Check them out:

Setting aside the whitewashing bugaboo for a moment, I do have to say I like what I’m seeing from these teasers alone. I dig the futuristic aesthetic they’re going for, and I’m getting an almost Matrix-y from these teasers. Which makes sense, as the Ghost in the Shell anime proved to be a huge influence for the original Matrix. Outside of that little tidbit, I’m not too familiar with Ghost in the Shell as a property, but these teasers proved to be quite intriguing.

Here’s a synopsis:

Based on the internationally acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows the 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.

Sounds good. I’m looking forward to this, and i-

Directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman)

Well shit, maybe whitewashing is the least of this film’s problems.

Ghost in the Shell hits theaters March 31, 2017.

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