Here’s how Pilou Asbæk’s Batou ends up losing his eyes in Ghost In The Shell 2017. The Ghost In The Shell is a cyberpunk manga series created by Masamune Shirow and revolves around the elite operatives of Public Security Section 9. This cult series was later adapted into a 1995 anime feature, which proved to be a surprise hit around the world. Its mix of incredible action with deep themes and characterization saw it become a major influence on both the genre and future movies, with The Matrix being a notable example.
This also propelled Ghost In The Shell to becoming a franchise that’s been running in various forms in the years since. There’s a cult PSX video game, the popular Stand Alone Complex anime and the 2020 series Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045. Despite its enduring popularity, a live-action Hollywood adaptation spent many years in development hell, with Scarlett Johansson later signing on for the lead role of the cybernetically enhanced Major. The movie faced accusations of whitewashing the source material when it entered production, which only intensified after the movie’s release due to the Major’s backstory seemingly trying to make this issue part of the story.
The Scarlett Johansson Ghost In The Shell received mostly mixed reviews and was a box-office disappointment. Nevertheless, it has gathered something of a fandom mostly for its production design, such as the eerie Ghost In The Shell geisha robots. While the Major might be the icon of the series, Batou – her Section 9 second in command – is also a key figure in the franchise, with Pilou Asbæk’s (Game Of Thrones) taking on the role for the movie version.
Pilou Asbæk’s Ghost In The Shell performance proved something of a highlight of the film, and a key feature of Batou from the manga and anime is his cybernetic eyes. When the live-action movie begins Batou lacks these enhancements, but following a Section 9 raid on a Yazuka nightclub, he and the Major are lured into a room booby-trapped with explosives. The subsequent blast knocks them back and ends up blinding Batou, and he’s later seen being outfitted with his cybernetic ones.
While Batou’s eyes didn’t strictly need an origin story, it was still a good, humanizing detail for Pilou Asbæk’s take on the character. While the other team members of Section 9 were essentially sidelined in the live-action Ghost In The Shell, the script gave Asbæk plenty to do in the role, with Batou’s complicated friendship with the Major being a key relationship in the story.