A 'Ghost in the Shell' Sequel Wouldn't Need Scarlett Johansson

Though there’s no post-credits sequence in Ghost in the Shell, that doesn’t mean the Major won’t return for a sequel. Essentially, everything that happens in the film could be viewed as an origin story, akin to James Bond’s first out as 007 in Casino Royale, meaning, this could be just the beginning. Plus, a sequel wouldn’t necessarily even need Scarlett Johansson to return.

Spoilers ahead for the new live-action *Ghost in the Shell, out today.

Though the two de facto villians of the new film — Kuze and Cutter — both die by the end of the movie, everyone else who is needed to make a sequel happen are alive. After finding out about her true identity and hanging out with her mom, the Major is back to working for Section 9 in the final scenes of the film. Through all the gunfights, Ghost in the Shell ends by showing the audiences that Major’s boss, Aramaki, is still the head of Section 9, and her government agent buddies, Batou, Han, Ladriya, and Ishikawa, are all seemingly alive. So, a little like the ending of Skyfall, where Bond, M, Q, and Moneypenny are all in their respective jobs, Ghost in the Shell sends a similar message: We don’t have a post-credits sequence, but there are more adventures here, for certain.

Obviously, the source material of both the manga, anime films, and various animated TV series gives a Ghost in the Shell sequel plenty of ideas to tackle. And even if Scarlett Johansson decides to leave acting and pursue a career in politics, a sequel could soldier on without her. Just like in the ending of the original 1995 anime version, the Major’s “ghost” could get transferred to a new body, meaning literally anyone could play her in the sequel. So, the only thing that would seemingly prevent a Ghost in the Shell 2 from happening is simply if it makes money. On Friday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Ghost in the Shell was tracking for an opening weekend of $20 Million at the U.S. box office. That’s not bad, but if the franchise is to become a franchise, it might need to do a little bit better.

Ghost in the Shell is out in wide release now.

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