GHOST IN THE SHELL

How anime clas­sic Ghost In The Shell got an A-list re­boot

Empire (UK) - - CONTENTS - WORDS OWEN WIL­LIAMS

Scar Jo’s anime up­date. Not to be con­fused with ’80s Scouse hor­ror ‘Ghost In The Shell Suit’.

NO STRANGER TO post-hu­man con­cepts, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son has pre­vi­ously played a su­pere­volved con­scious­ness (Lucy) and an ul­tra­ad­vanced AI (Her). In di­rec­tor Ru­pert San­ders’

Ghost In The Shell — a live-ac­tion take on the sem­i­nal cy­ber­punk anime — she’s teth­ered to phys­i­cal form, but her body and brain are 100 per cent cy­borg; only her soul (or “ghost”) re­mains hu­man. “I’ve been a per­son with­out a body, now I’m a mind in a syn­thetic body. Even­tu­ally I’ll go back to play­ing a body and brain to­gether,” she laughs.

Jo­hans­son’s at­tributes in this case be­long to The Ma­jor: head of Hong Kong’s multi-eth­nic cy­ber-ter­ror­ism coun­ter­mea­sures unit Sec­tion 9, which also em­ploys Pilou As­baek, Juli­ette Binoche and Takeshi Ki­tano. The plot re­mains largely un­der wraps, but draws on ma­te­rial from across the fran­chise (Masamune Shi­row’s orig­i­nal manga; Mamoru Oshii’s clas­sic film and its fol­low-ups). San­ders is remix­ing as well as re­mak­ing, but prom­ises “this isn’t the shit Hol­ly­wood ver­sion”.

“This is a ride that’s not just ex­plo­sive and ex­cit­ing, but also cu­ri­ous and re­flec­tive,” Jo­hans­son be­lieves. Top of the agenda for the re­make? Pre­serv­ing the fran­chise USP of sci-fi mus­ings on hu­man­ity’s re­la­tion­ship with tech­nol­ogy — only now with Jo­hans­son kick­ing se­ri­ous ass.

FIRST LOOK EX­CLU­SIVE GHOST IN THE SHELL OUT 31 MARCH

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