17 November 2018

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On Sunday, IGN released the first trailer for the long-awaited Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson. The studio also released its version of Ghost in the Shell’s opening sequence, modeled after the original anime film. The parallels between Westworld’s title sequence and this clip are obvious: we see the making of an eerily humanoid robot, from frame to figure to near-human cognizance.

Apparently, making an AI being always involves dipping something in a vat of undulating white goo. But from that goo-covered skeleton—whether bone and muscle or robotic metal and tissue—comes a strikingly beautiful imitation of humanity. In Johansson’s case, that image didn’t come without conflict; the studio was accused of white-washing the anime/manga classic by casting a non-Japanese woman to lead, and rumors floated that CGI was tested on Johansson to make her look more Asian. Also from that skeleton comes a whole load of existential robot dread—it’s been a strong year for that.


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