In fantasy hero costume teasing way ahead of time-though not in latex or rubber clothing-Scarlett Johansson was seen this week in a pre-trailer for the upcoming big Hollywood adaptation, Ghost in the Shell movie. The casting of Johansson initially met with lots of criticism, but Mamoru Oshii, the original director of the animated films in the “Ghost” series weighed in positively on his thoughts on Johansson’s read on super power feminine cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi. But a big question for fans seeing that brief snippet this week, beyond wondering about Johansson’s ability to truly embody such a well-loved iconic character is, just what is happening with Major Motoko Kusanagi’s thermos-optical camouflage (光学迷彩 kōgaku meisai?).
Specfically, will Johansson be getting naked before she gets in it?
As fans of the series, as well as so many of us lovers of fantasy costume design will attest, the possibility of just what Johansson is, or is not, wearing when she steps into the duds that render her character invisible, we know we can’t trust our eyes to what we see in a clip, or our ears to the rumors we hear. As the expansive popular Ghost series has had turns as T.V. shows, anime, comic and video games Kusanagi has come to have been drawn by different artists. And though there is no true accounting of the character ever stepping nude into her thermos suit (instead she seems to be wearing a skin tight leotard at the least), when a series becomes westernized, and with a huge Hollywood star, people do tend to wonder.
It is less the idea of possibly catching some bare skin on Johansson (and granted, for some it is certainly the question of that) as what exactly we can expect of outfits that have been fetishized by cosplayers around the world for so long.
Paramount’s big screen adaptation of Ghost in the Shell will be released March 31st 2017. The movie’s full first full-length trailer will be released this Sunday.