The Cyborg Villain Kuze Is Revealed in the New Ghost In The Shell Trailer

Illustration for article titled The Cyborg Villain Kuze Is Revealed in the New iGhost In The Shell/i Trailer
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With a little over a month to go before the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie hits theaters, a new trailer is here, and it reveals a lot.

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After the mostly visual first trailer, here we get a good sense of the story, the fact this version will dive deeper into The Major’s past and get to meet Kuze, the villain of the film. Check it out.

Of course, the film is based on the iconic Japanese franchise created by Masamune Shirow. In this futuristic world, the human essence, also known as a ghost, can be transferred to different cyborg bodies, called shells. Scarlett Johansson is the Major, a highly-trained cyborg who has to get to the bottom of a conspiracy plot.

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Directed by Rupert Sanders, Ghost in the Shell stars Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, Takeshi Kitano, and Juliette Binoche. It opens March 31.

[YouTube]

* Correction: This article originally had the wrong creator listed. Our apologies.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

Visually, it’s identical to Oshii’s film. Like, identical. Same exact shots. Not sure if that’s a good thing (to evoke the same atmosphere) or a bad thing (unoriginal, derivative cinematography).

Story-wise, I see very little in any of the trailers that resembles Ghost in the Shell (any of its incarnations) besides, “Ooh, cyborgs and brain hacking!” This trailer implies that the Major is some kind of secret illegal government experiment, hinting that she’ll later rebel against the government. Which would be STUPID. She’d basically be a cybernetic Jason Bourne.

GOD I hope they don’t go down that route. One of the things that I loved about all the previous GitS adaptations is that it’s one of the few cyberpunk properties that’s NOT about a dystopian society. It’s about a functional future society that is internally consistent and in harmony with its own rules. There’s no secret corporate cabal, no shadow government conspiracies, etc. It’s just a world that is a plausible future evolution of our world, and the problems they’re dealing with are the sorts of problems that we would have to deal with if our world went down that path: murders, corporate malpractice, terrorism, etc, but with new technologies. Kusanagi is a cop, not a super spy, and Section 9 is a police department, not a spy agency. In previous GitS adaptations, Kusanagi isn’t even portrayed as being special. She’s just another person who underwent cyberization, just to a more total degree than most, and her cyborg body wasn’t some special government model. It’s just a generic female body (and yes, it’s supposed to be an Asian female body) with some enhancements. She’s not even as strong as Batou or Boma.

Masamune Shirow and previous GitS writers knew how to put you into the world of GitS without relying on banal pop thriller plot twists like the hero being a mysterious amnesiac with a secret past. Hollywood doesn’t seem to know how to do that.

I really hope I’m wrong about this, and I’ll still watch it because I’m starving for cyberpunk, but this seems to be GitS in name only.