Watch the first five minutes of ‘Ghost In The Shell’

Controversial blockbuster starring Scarlett Johansson opens on March 31.

Paramount Pictures has shared the first five minutes of its controversial new blockbuster, Ghost In The Shell starring Scarlett Johansson.

Ghost in the Shell was created by Masamune Shirow in 1989 as a manga or Japanese comic book, before being made into a cult Japanese anime movie six years later. The story is set midway through the 21st century and follows the exploits of a fictional counter-cyberterrorist organisation called Public Security Section 9, which is led by a character called Major Motoko Kusanagi, now hailed as a Japanese icon.

Hollywood’s live-action remake, due out on March 31, been accused of “whitewashing” after Johansson, who is Manhattan-born of Danish and Polish heritage, was cast as Kusanagi. Johansson recently responded to the controversy, saying: “I certainly would never presume to play another race of a person. Diversity is important in Hollywood, and I would never never presume to play another race of a person.”

“Having a franchise with a female protagonist driving it is such a rare opportunity,” she added. “Certainly, I feel the enormous pressure of that – the weight of such a big property on my shoulders.”

However, this didn’t stop a meme-creator that was supposed to promote the movie being used to call out the film’s alleged “whitewashing”.

Last year, Paramount Pictures was even forced to deny reports that it commissioned visual tests that could potentially make Johansson appear more Asian in post-production, telling Screen Crush: “A test was done related to a specific scene for a background actor which was ultimately discarded. Absolutely no visual effects tests were conducted on Scarlett’s character and we have no future plans to do so.”

Ghost In The Shell co-stars Takeshi Kitano, Michael Pitt and Juliette Binoche. Rupert Sanders (Snow White And The Huntsman) directs.