For those unfortunately unfamiliar, Ghost in the Shell is a seminal work that not only influenced the world of cyberpunk fiction, but opened many Western eyes to mature-audience anime with its first feature film. Created by manga-ka Shriow Masamune, it involves Motoko Kusanagi, a member of the top-secret Section 9, a division of Japanese Public Safety that deals with cybercrime in the future. But she is no typical cop busting the yahoo who stole your PIN. In the world of GitS, identity theft usually means hijacking a person’s entire body or even their memories, due to the advent of cyberbrains (computer mainframes that replace the original human brain). The series deals with Motoko’s internal struggle over her identity as “human,” while showing the effect of such a dichotomy on society at large. A highly existential work that manages to give its viewers a nice drunken mind-grope, GitS is, for lack of a better term, THE SHIT.
Producers Steven Spielberg (whose involvement helped get the green light) and Avi Arad are teaming up with DreamWorks to bring a new live action version to theaters.
While a director has yet to be picked, a new writer has been announced: Laeta Kalogridis, who is replacing former scribe Jamie Moss (Street Kings). Kalogridis is one of those back-and-forth screenwriters, bounding from absolute dreck (Pathfinder, wait….fucking Oliver Stone’s Alexander?) to more well-received fare (Night Watch, the upcoming Shutter Island). Still though….Alexander. If these guys have any sense, they will try to get some Production I.G. (Stand Alone Complex) people involved.
Of course, since the GitS franchise has many different iterations, it is not yet know which one will be used: the manga, the more serious films (the most famous being the 1995 animated feature by Mamoru Oshii), or the excellent (and in some ways superior) Stand Alone Complex series.
It is to be filmed entirely in 3-D, which would make me groan along with you, until I imagine stuff like this…
….in 3-D and get all giddy again.
So my confusion still stands. On the one hand, I would love a big, glossy, balls-to-the-wall live-action version, mostly to see if it could even be done. And if this turns out all right, then maybe I can breathe a bit easier about the attempts at Akira and Robotech. On the other hand, it could suffer a Speed Racer-style ignoble defeat (that movie wasn’t that bad, it was fairly accurate to the original, I mean, did you people SEE the actual show?).
While casting is still fairly far in the future, the folks at Cinematical did whip up a nice list of potential Motokos. Considering her penchant for guns, fists, and nekkidness, I think you can figure out which of their choices I might be rooting for….