Johansson has played a super advanced artificial intelligence living in a mobile phone in Her (2013) – but in Ghost In The Shell, the live action adaption of Masamune Shirow's 1989 seminal cyberpunk anime, she is a human soul (or ghost) in a cyborg brain and body. "I've been a person without a body, now I'm a mind in a synthetic body," Johansson told Empire. "Eventually I'll go back to playing a body and brain together," she laughs.
Very much looking like she means futuristic business in the new image, Johansson plays The Major, a special ops cyborg at the head of an elite task force known as Section 9. The team, working for Hanka Robotics, is in charge of stopping dangerous criminals and extremists, and their prime target is Kuze (Michael Pitt), a terrorist dedicated to wiping out all of Hanka's cyber technology.
"This is a ride that's not just explosive and exciting, but also curious and reflective", she says of the new film, which is being directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White And The Huntsman). Drawing on material from across the franchise, Sanders assures us that "this isn't the shit Hollywood version."
Johansson's Lucy (2014) co-star Pilou Asbæk is aboard to play Batou, the second best fighter in the section and her trusted lieutenant, with Juliette Binoche (Cosmopolis), 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano (The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi), Michael Pitt (Seven Psychopaths) and Kaori Momoi (Memoirs Of A Geisha) also appearing. The members of Section 9 are played by Chin Han (The Dark knight), Danusia Samal (Tyrant), Lasarus Ratuere (The Mule), Yutaka Izumihara (Unbroken) and Tuwanda Manyimo (The Rover).
With a script by Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton), Ghost In The Shell will arrive in cinemas on 31 March. For more on Ghost In The Shell, check out our Ghost In The Shell crash course guide.