Scarlett Johansson transforms in first ‘Ghost in the Shell’ photo

Scarlett Johansson transforms in first 'Ghost in the Shell' photo
UPI

LOS ANGELES, April 14 (UPI) — Ghost in the Shell gave fans a first glimpse of Scarlett Johansson on Thursday.

Paramount Pictures shared a photo of the 31-year-old actress in character in a press release for the upcoming film. The picture sees Johansson sport a short, dark wig as Motoko Kusanagi, “a one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid.”

“We are so pleased to be in Wellington to shoot Ghost in the Shell,” the movie’s producers said. “The people of New Zealand have been terrific partners in helping us bring this story and its beloved characters to audiences around the world.”

Ghost in the Shell is based on the Japanese manga by Masamune Shirow, which debuted in 1989. The series previously inspired a television show and several animated films in Japan, including a critically-acclaimed 1995 adaptation.

Fans reacted with both enthusiasm and disappointment to Johansson’s debut. Popular blogger Angry Asian Man was among those to criticize the film for casting Johansson over an Asian actress.

The new adaptation is directed by Snow White and Huntsman helmer Rupert Sanders and opens in theaters March 31, 2017. Pilou Asbaek co-stars as Batou, with Michael Pitt as the Laughing Man and Takeshi Kitano as Daisuke Aramaki.

Ghost in the Shell follows Kusanagi as she works to counter cyber-crime attacks for the fictional Section 9. The movie will see the character take on an enemy seeking “to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.”

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