America's sweetheart no more, Taylor Swift's music persona morphs into what appears to be an android warrior to fight the forces of evil in a stunning teaser for a music video from her new album.
In the spiky, sci-fi scenes for " ... Are You Ready for It?" — posted on Swift's Instagram Monday — the singer appears to be transformed into a powerful cyborg (à la the Terminator) and takes on futuristic villains with lightning bolts and a thrumming beat. She wears a knockout nude cyborg bodysuit nearly identical to the one donned by Scarlett Johansson in last year's film "Ghost in the Shell."
The full video premieres Thursday. The " ... Are You Ready For It?" track, part of Swift's sixth album, "Reputation" (due out Nov. 10), was released online early last month. "Gorgeous," the third song released from the album, dropped last week.
The edgy, dark video is another step in the singer's transformation that Swift has been boasting about. "I'm sorry, the old Taylor Swift can't come to the phone right now," she intones in the lead track from the album, "Look What You Made Me Do" (and appears as a zombie in that video). "Why? Oh, 'cause she's dead!"
Beyond the apparent references to "Ghost in the Shell" and the moody rain-soaked streets of "Blade Runner" in the new video, fans also spotted several similarities to Swift's video for her 2014 single "Out of the Woods." Swift said then that the song was about the anxiety she grapples with in a relationship.
One of the more mysterious scenes shows a lightning bolt apparently striking Swift with the words: "They're burning all the witches."
It's hard to know how well the video will work with the song's lyrics, which fans believe are about Swift's current beau, British actor Joe Alwyn.
"Knew he was a killer/first time that I saw him/Wonder how many girls he had loved and left haunted./But if he's a ghost then/I can be a phantom/Holding him for ransom," Swift sings. "Are you ready for it?/Baby, let the games begin/The games begin."
In an interesting case of art and celebrity intertwining, the actress who plays the perfectly coifed and tough-as-nails 1950s-style housewife villain in the new "Blade Runner 2049" says she was inspired in part by Swift.
"I looked at big celebrities, big singers, who are younger girls, like Taylor Swift or Selena Gomez," Sylvia Hoeks told Bustle.
They have "big platforms [and] every little second of their day is probably somebody making a picture of them or putting them in the media. So their whole life kind of happens virtually."