Following a major casting controversy, Rupert Sanders’ adaptation of ‘Ghost in the Shell’ starring Scarlett Johansson earned some very disappointing numbers at the domestic box office during its opening weekend. But apparently, the generally panned (and racially insensitive) live-action film isn’t enough to keep the franchise from following the old adage that says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”
While the live-action version didn’t exactly work out the way Paramount and Dreamworks had planned, it seems that Major Motoko Kusanagi will be returning to her original cinematic roots. According to The Hollywood Reporter, publisher Kodansha and animation company Production I.G. are currently developing an all-new animated reboot of ‘Ghost in the Shell’. It will be co-directed by Kenji Kamiyama, who worked on the 2002-2003 anime series ‘Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex’, and Shinji Aramaki of ‘Appleseed’ fame. Although, no voice cast, writers, or release date were shared at the time of the announcement, I think that it’s pretty safe to say that ScarJo probably won’t be lending her vocal talents to the latest attempt at bringing the seminal 1995 anime based on the 1989 manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow to a whole new generation.
With the original anime directed by the legendary Mamoru Oshii being so revered by fans and critics over the years, the new one has a lot to live up to. Thanks to the unprecedented combination of traditional and CGI animation on top of the philosophical elements of the story that questions human existence in our fast-paced information age with commentaries on sexuality, humanity, gender, and more, the movie is regarded as one of the best anime feature films ever made. But as long as this one stays away from literally whitewashing the main character, it’s already got a leg up on the big budget Hollywood iteration of the story.
What do you think about Kodansha and Production I.G. working on an animated reboot of ‘Ghost in the Shell’? Do you think that it stands a chance at being better than the original one? And with a few advancements in animation coming into existence since 1995, could you see new technology benefitting the reboot? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments below.