Scarlett Johansson had to get in the right mindset to take on her upcoming role for Ghost in the Shell.
The film, which is based on the Japanese manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow, has Johansson portraying a cyborg counter-cyberterrorist field commander The Major, who is devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists.
“She’s tactical, so there’s a militaristic aspect to it, and she’s incredibly efficient,” she told Total Film magazine. “But she’s not indestructible. She doesn’t have superpowers. She’s a machine. So she fights in a different way.”
The 32-year-old actress added that initially she wasn’t sure exactly how the original anime would translate to a live-action film, but she assures fans that the movie includes poetic visuals as well as action scenes, for which she trained in a very specific way.
“We fight to the death…,” Johannson commented describing the film’s fight sequences. “I had this f**king enormous weapon, and I’m running around with it. I learned to love it, but I felt like I was getting my arms ripped off. I think I burst a bunch of blood vessels.”
Meanwhile, director Rupert Sanders shares that while audiences may be expecting a lot of computer generated imagery in the flick, that isn’t the case. In fact, he claims the movie is around 80% practical and 20% digital.
“We did a lot with Weta Workshop (a special effects and prop company) where we built exploding animatronic geisha heads, rooftops of buildings. We built so much stuff, I think people will expect it to be visual effects. We wanted that feeling of authenticity and reality, rather than doing it in a green vacuum,” he explained.
Ghost in the Shell, which also stars Michael Pitt and Juliette Binoche, hits theaters later this month.