Why The New 'Ghost in the Shell' Will Kick Ass

The Hollywood reboot of the classic anime is off to a promising start.

Posted by Xander Pakzad

Fans of Ghost in the Shell already know that the cyberpunk anime is getting a live-action reboot, and the stakes are mighty high. The original manga has a huge cult following, and the 1995 animated film has been cited as inspiration for James Cameron and the Wachowskis. It’s a lot to live up to, but the pieces of an excellent remake are falling into place even this early. Here’s what we know so far.

News of Margot Robbie’s involvement came about less than a day ago, but it's hard not to picture her as Major Motoko Kusanagi, the cyborg public officer on the hunt for a malicious computer virus. Robbie’s head-turning looks are likely a huge reason for her consideration, but she’s shown the emotional depth required for the role. Even as Naomi, the sun-kissed trophy wife in The Wolf of Wall Street, Robbie held her own opposite Oscar heavyweights. Her balance of poise and take-no-shit strength is just what the world of Ghost in the Shell calls for. Nothing’s been confirmed, but I’m making the call now and saying she’s going carry the film.

On the business side of things, Steven Spielberg got the ball rolling six years ago when he and Dreamworks Studios acquired the rights for a live-action film. Avi Arad then came on as a producer, clearly due to his extensive background in film adaptations.

Arad helped bring Marvel Comics out of bankruptcy in the ‘90s, and he went on to found Marvel Studios. Starting with 2000’s X-Men, he’s produced over a dozen superhero movies, starting franchises that continue today. He’s now helping to bring several video games to the big screen including Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid, and Mass Effect.

The helm of the ship belongs to Rupert Sanders, which may seem like a gamble. As a director, he’s only had one feature: Snow White and the Huntsman. Whatever you thought of it, you can’t fault him for lack of style. Cold, gritty, and visceral seems to be his trademark, as evidenced by his short film “Black Hole” (based on the Charles Burns’ comic book of the same name). Oh yeah, and he also directed the award winning commercial “The Life” for Halo 3: ODST, so he’s got the geek cred. You can view both below.

Finally we have a screenplay by William Wheeler. Aside from The Hoax and The Reluctant Fundamentalist, he hasn’t done anything too noteworthy. Here’s hoping he knows the source material.

What do you think? Will Ghost in the Shell be a faithful homage to a modern classic? Do we even need a live-action version?

(images: ScreenCrush, IMPAwardsWarosu)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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