“We needed a launch that was as unique and original as the property itself.” – Paramount Pictures
Since the announcement that Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation, Avengers, Lucy) is to play the lead character, Major, in the up and coming live action adaptation of the hugely popular manga/anime franchise, GHOST IN THE SHELL, in which Johansson was reportedly offered $10m to take the role, DreamWorks has come under fire from many quarters for whitewashing and potentially ruining another manga/anime series. Is Hollywood just cashing in on and exploiting another successful east Asian franchise or will it treat it with the respect and sophistication it deserves? Some anime fans have their doubts it can stay true to the source material, while others are a bit more optimistic With a release date on 31st March 2017, time will tell if Johansson can pull it off and whether it will be a hit or miss for the studio and director Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman). In the meantime all we have to go on is the five segments of the teaser trailer which first aired during the Season 2 finale of Mr. Robot and now doing the rounds on YouTube.
“GHOST IN THE SHELL is so original in its own right”, exclaimed Paramount, “that it had to have a special execution to kick it off. We needed a launch that was as unique and original as the property itself.”
Visually, the film looks intense and gritty with dark tones, and therefore seems to appear faithful to the overall style of the original anime feature and thus does give fans some hope, whilst leaving those not familiar with the franchise wondering what the hell is going on – so expectations are high.
The most important aspect of the film of course though will be the storyline. Here’s an overview for those of you unfamiliar with the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property.
GHOST IN THE SHELL follows the Major, a special ops one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.
Will writers, Jonathan Herman and Jamie Moss, get it right? Will they embrace the philosophical aspects of the original that tackles intellectual questions of human life and what it means to be alive? We’ll just have to wait and see.
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