The new issue of Empire features a spread on Paramount Pictures' upcoming live-action Ghost in the Shell, featuring an interview with its star, Scarlett Johansson, and a new image of her purple-haired cyborg character: The Major (a.k.a. Motoko Kusanagi).
While almost all of the members of Section 9 have cybernetic implants, Major has had her entire original body replaced with one that is fully-artificial. "I've been a person without a body, now I'm a mind in a synthetic body," Johansson told Empire, referencing her role in Spike Jonze's Her (2013) — where she voiced the operating system (Samantha) that Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) fell in love with. "Eventually I'll go back to playing a body and brain together," she laughed.
Based on the trailers, the film looks like it is trying to remain as faithful as possible to Masamune Shirow's cyberpunk manga — which dealt with existential questions of what it means to be human in a world that is increasingly dependent on technology. "This is a ride that's not just explosive and exciting, but also curious and reflective," Johansson assured.
Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, Ghost in the Shell follows the Major (Scarlett Johansson), 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.
MORE: Anime Director Mamoru Oshii Praise Ghost in the Shell Movie / Ghost in the Shell Behind-The-Scenes Footage / See Scarlett Johansson's Major In Action In Ghost in the Shell Trailer Teaser / Ghost in the Shell Cast Defends Controversial Casting Decision / Ghost in the Shell Producer Reveals Plot / Ghost in the Shell Teasers Released/ Ghost in the Shell Behind-The-Scenes Photo / Ghost in the Shell Publisher Praises Casting
The cast also includes Beat Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki, Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouelet, Michael Pitt as Kuze, Pilou Asbæk as Batou, and Kaori Momoi. The members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara and Tuwanda Manyimo.
Snow White and the Huntsman helmer, Rupert Sanders, is directing.
Ghost in the Shell will be released in the U.S. on March 31, 2017.