Explore the cyberpunk ensemble with our Ghost in the Shell characters guide
Ghost in the Shell is based on the Japanese manga by Masamune Shirow. You may also be familiar with the 1995 anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii. This time around, Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) is taking the helm. The film stars Scarlett Johansson as The Major, Pilou Asbæk as Batou, Juliette Binoche as Dr. Ouélet and Michael Pitt as Kuze.
Here is the official synopsis: “Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, “GHOST IN THE SHELL” follows Major, a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.”
A lot of the film has been kept under wraps, with small teases being released before the big trailer reveal in December 2016. A few things we know are that the Major is a cyborg, and the first of her kind. We are going to see a number of scenes that we’ll recognize from the anime, including the opening shelling sequence. Major is searching for her past and trying to deal with her identity and sense of humanity, and that Batou is her closest comrade. In the trailer, we get a sense of the future city that is based on Hong Kong and see some of the denizens, including cybernetic and pretty terrifying robotic geishas. We have yet to see most of the other characters’ appearances.
Here is our guide to the characters in anticipation of the upcoming release.
Ghost in the Shell Characters: The Major
Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers) will play Major, though in the anime and manga, she’s named Major Motoko Kusanagi. The Major is a cyborg, though her mind is human. She’s the field commander for the security group Section 9. She’s intelligent, a powerful warrior and looking for some information about her past. She’s closest to Batou, who works with her in Section 9, and her cyber body was created by Dr. Ouélet. Major has a thermoptic suit (which you can see in the trailers) that gives the appearance of nudity, though the suit allows her to disappear from view. As she searches for her humanity and her identity, we’ll see her in a number of locations, including what appears to be a monastery, clubs and fighting in boardrooms. As we learn in the trailer, she’s struggling to find the connection to things and to each other that the rest of humanity feels. There was controversy about casting Johansson for the role, as many fans were hoping for a Japanese actress to play the role.
Ghost in the Shell Characters: Kuze
Michael Pitt’s (Boardwalk Empire) role in the film is mysterious, though in the manga he’s a former SDF member and one of the Individual Eleven terrorist group. He’s an enemy of Section 9. Kuze, from what we can tell, uses Major’s mysterious past to try to convince her to join his side. In the trailer, we hear him tell Major, “Everything they told you was a lie. They did not save your life; they stole it.” So far we’ve only gotten a shadowed glimpse of what he’ll look like in the film.
Ghost in the Shell Characters: Batou
Pilou Asbæk (Game of Thrones) plays the Section 9 member with tiny glasses. He’s close to Major and has some cybernetic parts, as most people in this future world do. He’s a powerful military man, though he’s known for his humor. Asbæk has spoken about joking around on the set and bringing pizza in as a character piece. He’s also stated that there were some takes during production that they played up a romantic relationship between Batou and Major, though it wasn’t present at all in others.
Ghost in the Shell Characters: Dr. Ouélet
Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) plays the doctor that gives Major her cybernetic body, though we don’t know very much more about her role in the film. For fans of the anime, we know there will indeed be a shelling sequence in the film similar to the one that opens the anime. No word about whether or not we’ll see the Dr. there before or after. In the trailer, Dr. Ouélet tells Major, “You’re the first of your kind, but you’re not invulnerable.” She also tells her, “You were dying. We saved you. Now you save others,” giving Major a reason for her continued existence.
Ghost in the Shell Characters: Togusa
Togusa is played by Chin Han (The Dark Knight), and is a member of Section 9, which is a unit set up to combat cyborg terrorism. Togusa is the only member of the team that is fully human, having no parts replaced with cybernetics. He shoots a mateba revolver and fans of the anime and manga know all about his mullet hairstyle. Togusa is there to use his human intuition to help investigate cyborg crimes.
Ghost in the Shell Characters: Ishikawa
Lasarus Tature (Terra Nova) plays Ishikawa, a technology specialist in Section 9. Ishikawa doesn’t have a lot of cybernetic enhancements. He’s the oldest member of the team in the anime and manga. We don’t have a lot of information about his role in the film quite yet.
Ghost in the Shell Characters: Saito
Yutaka Izumihara (The Wolverine) plays Saito, a member of Section 9 and a sniper. Izumihara has stated that according to his research, Saito was an ex SEAL and quit to become a mercenary. He also stated that Saito has a real sense of justice. He’s also stated that the cast worked out and did weapons training every day to prepare for their roles.
Ghost in the Shell Characters: Borma
Tawanda Manyimo (The Rover) plays Borma, the bomb specialist in Section 9. There is little known about his past. Borma is party cyborg and is dealing with how that changes his humanity, according to Manyimo. Borma carries a large shotgun and Manyimo says that there is a “certain sense of sadness with Borma.”
Ghost in the Shell Characters: Ladriya
Danusia Samal (Tyrant) plays Ladriya, a female member of the team that was created for the film. According to Samal, she’s “fiesty…a bit cheeky as well.” She’s also been described as ruthless. Ladriya is a knife specialist and considered intuitive.
Are you excited for Ghost In the Shell? Are you a fan of the anime? What do you think of the casting for the film? Check out the official trailer below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.