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Recreating the iconic 'Ghost in the Shell' shelling sequence

See how the new live action film recreates the legendary anime's iconic opening sequence with a mixture of practical effects and CGI.

Scarlett Johansson plays The Major in Ghost in the Shell from Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures in theaters March 31, 2017.
Paramount Pictures, Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
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Scarlett Johansson comes out of her shell in her new movie -- and here's how it was done.

The new live action adaptation of legendary manga and anime "Ghost in the Shell" may be controversial for its casting, but it's clearly a lavish and visually stylish film. The eye-popping visuals are shown off in the "shelling" sequence, and you can see a behind-the-scenes glimpse of that sequence in this making-of featurette.

Characters of "Ghost in the Shell" infuse their brains with technology, allowing them to plug their consciousness into special cyborg bodies, or "shells". The shelling process sees a cyborg body built up from different layers of metal and liquid.

The process formed the opening sequence of the original 1995 anime, influencing everything from "The Matrix" to "Westworld".

To recreate and reinterpret the scene for the new movie, special effects wizards Weta and MPC Animation Studio worked on the live action shelling sequence under the guidance of director Rupert Sanders. The clip gives an idea of how much of the sequence was created using practical effects rather than computer-generated imagery, with a physical 1,400-piece skeleton modelled on Johannson and a body lifted from real liquid filmed against a greenscreen.

"Ghost in the Shell" is in theatres in the UK on 30 March and US on 31 March. For more behind-the-scenes action, check out this featurette on our sister site GameSpot.