Paramount Pictures released its first teasers for next March’s Ghost in the Shell last night, leaving viewers to piece together the brief clips on their own. Instead of watching a handful of short videos, however, one talented editor took it upon himself to stitch them altogether for a much cooler, longer look.
YouTuber and fan edit extraordinaire Tim Gonzales uploaded the video above, which is still just a minute-long teaser. It’s the trailer's musical cue — drawn from the source material, the 1995 Ghost in the Shell animated film — combined with cybernetic effects that makes this a much more compelling watch than Paramount’s individual shorts.
For naysayers and those already averse to the Paramount production, however, enjoying this trailer may be at odds with their initial trepidation about Ghost in the Shell. The Western-made, live-action adaptation has courted controversy since its first announcement. The film, based on the influential manga series, will transpose the dystopian Tokyo setting to a more ambiguous, globalized one, starring Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt and Juliette Binoche among an otherwise diverse cast.
The behind-the-scenes crew is also composed of Western talent: Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) is directing, and William Wheeler wrote the script. That’s disheartening for manga and anime fans who fell for Ghost in the Shell’s intrinsically Japanese flavor more than 20 years ago, when the manga first began.
When rumors swirled that background actors had been digitally altered to "appear more Asian," Ghost in the Shell came under further scrutiny. We've seen white actors stand in for ones of Asian or other ethnic descent in Hollywood adaptations of non-Western texts before; those films have similarly been criticized.
The trailer above does look pretty rad, though. The film hits theaters March 31, 2017; we’ll reserve full judgment until then.