It’s been a long road for Paramount Pictures’ Ghost in the Shell, an adaptation of the extremely popular Japanese manga by Masamune Shirow. Mired in controversy over casting Scarlett Johansson in the lead role because of her ethnicity, the film has received its fair share of backlash from fans of the source material who were hoping to see a Japanese actress in the role. Mamoru Oshii, who directed the original Japanese anime version of Ghost in the Shell, has stepped up to defend Johansson, pointing out that her character is a cyborg and that race shouldn’t play a factor.
Regardless of where fans stand on the controversy, Paramount has not slowed down on its heavy marketing campaign for Ghost in the Shell, releasing an abundance of trailers and clips to keep fans sated until opening weekend. With that moment approaching quickly, however, Paramount has just released a final trailer and clip for the film that both seemingly draw on the star power of Johansson rather than the popularity of the source material.
The trailer, which is available above, offers a few new scenes for fans to obsess over, including a more detailed look at Michael Pitt’s Kuze character and a more in depth idea of what the action scenes will look like in Ghost in the Shell. The new clip, on the other hand, seems to focus on the more science fiction aspect of the film and features Johansson’s Major character diving into what is seemingly another cyborg’s memory to discover some kind of secret only for it to go wrong.
Unlike earlier trailers and clips, the final trailer and clip seem to finally be focusing less on action set pieces and more on what kind of story Ghost in the Shell is attempting to tell. For fans of the source material, this will likely be an effective way to determine if the film will break the curse of poorly received Hollywood manga adaptations and whether or not the film is worth seeing. Of course, for general fans with no knowledge of the source material, Johansson’s involvement alone could very well sell tickets, making Paramount’s focus on The Avengers star instead of source material seem like a genuinely smart idea.
Still, there are bound to be fans out there who are upset at the lack of a Japanese actress taking up Johansson’s role or those who think that director Rupert Sanders will have little interest in actually adapting the original story from the manga. Regardless, the amount of marketing that Paramount has put behind Ghost in the Shell could lead to the film at least becoming the highest grossing manga adaptation even if it doesn’t end up living up to fan expectation.