The wait is nearly over. After eight years trudging through development, the journey to a live-action “Ghost In The Shell” movie that began the year America elected Barack Obama to his first term as President of the United States will culminate March 31, 2017 as America struggles to accept the words, “President Donald Trump.”
Judging from the first full-length trailer, it’s a damn shame there may never be a conversation about “Ghost In The Shell” that doesn’t acknowledge the “whitewashing” elephant looming awkwardly over it. Ever since the first confirmed development details confirmed that Jamie Moss and Jonathan Herman’s script shunned creator Masamune Shirow’s Japanese setting and English director Rupert Sanders would helm a production headlined by Scarlett Johansson portraying human-cyborg hybrid Section 9 counter-terrorism commander The Major, fans have barely let anyone holding onto their optimism forget that this take on one of Japanese manga’s most wildly popular properties disturbingly lacks any notable strong ties to its heritage.
Again, that’s too bad, because this first big bite tastes superb. The battle between The Major’s elite task force and a threat hell-bent on eradicating Hanka Robotic’s revolutionary artificial intelligence advancements couldn’t ask for a more meticulously rendered cyberpunk backdrop. Granted, there’s always the possibility we get yet another adaptation with stunning cinematography that entirely eschews the sweetest philosophical meat of its source material. There’s just no telling prior to the first full screenings. Until March, we have to at least savor the hopeful early vindication that this at least looks remarkably faithful to the aesthetics and spirit of the manga and 1995 full-length feature in particular.
Hey, not every adaptation even gets that lucky. This side-eye is for you, “The Last Airbender” and “Dragonball Evolution.”