Live Action Ghost in the Shell Is A Go!

Anime, it’s not just for otaku anymore. Following on the news of a live-action version of Akira, the purported live-action remake of Neon Genesis Evangelion and of course the live-action remake of Speed Racer, Variety is reporting the Spielberg’s company, DreamWorks, has acquired the rights to remake Ghost in the Shell, in live-action 3D no less. Apparently Spielberg took a personal interest in the project as the movie is ‘one of my favorite stories’. I guess that’s what releasing Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence gets you.

Now I know there are cynics out there saying, “Wait a minuted, I’ve already seen this live-action film. It’s called The Matrix!” And, yes, The Matrix and Ghost in the Shell share quite a bit of visual and thematic elements. But, and maybe this is just me, after watching most of the spinoffs and such around both of these movies, I find Ghost in the Shell to be more interesting over all. In fact, the TV show based on the movie is one of my favorite SF anime shows ever. The Matrix fell quite a bit with the release of the follow on two movies. So, in a word, I’m quite excited by this news. 3D may be seen as being a over the top, but given some of the scenes in the original move, skydiving from a skyscraper comes to mind, 3D could kick some serious butt, if done well. I guess we’ll know how good 3d can be when James Cameron’s Avatar comes out.

I’ve said before that I think Ghost in the Shell is a great movie to adapt for American audiences. The success of The Matrix shows that a more ‘philosophical’ SF movie will be accepted, but it has to be done right. Hopefully the screenwriters won’t make a mess of it, like so many of the recent adaptations of Asian horror movies have turned out to be. I’ll be looking forward to this one. Maybe it’s time to go back and watch all the GitS stuff…

4 thoughts on “Live Action Ghost in the Shell Is A Go!”

  1. All they need do is duplicate this shot for shot and it will be a hell of a film. Great news – this is my favorite anime of all time, and also my favorite manga. And yes, it is “philosophical SF” but also action packed. More of this please. Smart and sexy, fast and fun, is the way to get some synergy between books and movies, whereas dumb and sexy, stupid and fun does us no favors.

  2. Now you know Hollywood won’t be able to leave it alone. They will have to ‘update’ it for today’s modern world. I hope they do it right too, but I’m not holding out hope that they will. But I’m a sucker for this so I’ll probably be there.

    Maybe once this is a huge hit, they’ll come knocking for some Cassandra Kresnov….

  3. It’s funny that it’s taken Hollywood ten years to realize what the Japanese have done for scifi cinema. The best science fiction concepts I’ve seen have all come from Japanese anime & manga.

    I’m expecting all of these are going to be tarnished by a Westernization of what made them so beautiful to begin with. But you all can hope if you want to.

    Honestly, I suppose I should be happy that it’s Spielberg doing it, but it feels tacky to me. Those are all classics (forgetting Speed Racer) and it seems a shame that the hand-drawn component is being removed completely. It wasn’t just the stories but the medium as well that made those movies revolutionary. The animation in those movies attempted and achieved things that revolutionized the industry. To make them flesh and blood movies seems a disservice to their legend.

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