Ahead of the big game on Sunday, Feb. 5, the Ghost in the Shell Super Bowl trailer dropped onto the internet on Thursday. The trailer is only 30 seconds, but believe me: It's a damn tantalizing bit of film. The visuals of this Super Bowl spot are just as breath-taking as the full-length trailer, the mystery is even more compelling, and Scarlett Johansson has never looked cooler. But one crucial question remains: Why is Johansson's character Major naked in Ghost in the Shell — or so it seems —the entire time she's running around the futuristic Japanese city of Niihama?
Much like the first full-length trailer we saw back in November 2016, the spot follows Major, a cyborg policewoman who is questioning her own identity while on the hunt for a computer hacker. We hear an ominous voice (Michael Pitt's, actually) tell her, "They did not save your life. They stole it."
Before you start worrying that the Ghost in the Shell team purposefully slapped Johansson into a flesh-colored bodysuit to amp up her sex appeal for an otherwise androgynous-looking character, there's a good reason for all this faux nudity. The suit being shown in the trailer is actually a thermoptic suit that allows Major to camouflage herself against her surroundings and sneak up on her targets without being spotted. It was a crucial element of Major's character in the original Ghost in the Shell anime, and it looks like it's been resurrected in this newest adaptation.
IGN reported on how Major's thermoptic suit came to be and how they maneuvered around MPAA ratings to stay true to the design of the iconic suit from the original anime material, while bringing a fresh aesthetic take to the table. According to IGN, the movie's costume designers worked to design a suit that didn't mean Johansson would have to be naked. Instead, producer Avi Arad explained to IGN,
"We’re not actually trying to pretend she’s naked. The suit emulates some of the ideas of the panel lines. When you see it the movie you’re not meant to think that that she’s naked."
I mean, it's pretty ingenious, right? While it takes a moment for the initial shock to wear off that this suit isn't being played for male gaze-y pleasure, you're left with the feeling that Major's suit is going to be utilized in some very interesting ways in the film.
Ghost in the Shell has undergone immense scrutiny since Johansson was first cast, with accusations of intentional whitewashing overshadowing the truly marvelous-looking film that bursts forth in this Super Bowl spot. While we have to wait a little while longer for the film to hit theaters (March 31, to be precise), this latest trailer definitely builds the hype.