Adapting any beloved source material always required a delicate balancing act between appealing to new fans while trying to not piss off the existing ones, something 2017’s Ghost in the Shell failed miserably to accomplish.
Snow White and the Hunstman director Rupert Sanders was tasked to head up the manga adaptation, which came in for heavy criticism from the second it was announced Scarlett Johansson was set to play the lead role. While the director of the beloved anime Mamoru Oshii revealed it didn’t bother him in the slightest, a vocal section of supporters did not feel the same way.
Of course, it would have helped had the blockbuster version of the acclaimed story not sucked, with respective Rotten Tomatoes scores of 43 and 51 percent from critics and audiences making it abundantly clear that it couldn’t even deliver a respectable cyberpunk action spectacular on its own merits, even without the shadow of controversy looming in the background.
It additionally flopped at the box office, too, with Ghost in the Shell trundling along to a miserable haul of $169 million on a $110 million budget, with Sanders and Johansson conspiring to complete the double whammy of what not to do with any fresh spin on a classic property by failing to appeal to either newbies or diehards.
On the plus side, the derided disaster has at least made its way back to some sort of prominence on streaming, with FlixPatrol revealing Ghost in the Shell has clambered back onto the ViaPlay most-watched list. There is admittedly a smidgen of style to go with the lack of substance, but we still can’t figure out exactly who this was made for.