Ever since a western remake of Akira was tentatively announced more than a decade ago, Hollywood studios have been trying to crack the anime scene. On paper, many of the genre’s more prominent icons – namely Death Note, Alita: Battle Angel and Ghost in the Shell – lend themselves to a big-screen adaptation, what with their rich cyberpunk settings and built-in audience.
The first two properties are currently simmering in various stages of production, meaning it’s Rupert Sanders’ live-action Ghost in the Shell movie that has the honor (burden?) of instigating Hollywood’s new wave of mega-budget anime movies. Pegged for release on March 31st, Paramount has today rolled out yet another featurette that shifts the spotlight over to Section 9, an elite task force formed around The Major. Known as Motoko Kusanagi in the seminal manga series, Scarlett Johansson is set to spearhead Ghost in the Shell as a cutting-edge cyborg, one dispatched onto the streets of neo-Tokyo to combat terrorists and, ultimately, Kuze, the nefarious AI that places its proverbial crosshairs on Hanka Robotics.
It’s here, just as The Major closes in on her purported nemesis, that an existential crisis begins to seep in. You see, what’s so unique about ScarJo’s protagonist is that she’s a human soul – or Ghost, if we’re sticking to the official terminology – housed in a synthetic body, so it’s little wonder why Sanders’ pic is set to trigger an identity crisis for our haunted heroine. Speaking of story, we know that Straight Outta Compton scribe Jonathan Herman pitched into the script, with further revisions from Jamie Moss, William Wheeler and Ehren Kruger.
The Major boots online on March 31st, but will you be paying a visit to your local theater to catch Ghost in the Shell in two weeks’ time? Do let us know.