With all the hullabaloo surrounding every new movie that’s released to theaters and the massive public-relations push that comes with it, it’s easy to forget those films that came out mere months ago that didn’t fare as well as studios had hoped – and as a result, the hype surrounding the movies can often quickly fade into obscurity as well.
Such is the case, mostly, with the live-action version of ‘Ghost in the Shell‘ – released in theaters only 8 short months ago, the film was quickly released to home video over the summer and has seemingly settled into relative obscurity. It’s biggest claim to fame is perhaps the controversy that surrounded it in the months leading up to the film’s release, in which quite the uproar was raised regarding the “white-washing” casting of Scarlet Johansson in the title role.
In a recent interview, the director of the 1995 animated ‘Ghost in the Shell’ film, Mamoru Oshii, was asked about the new film, and he shared his thoughts:
“I first heard about doing a live-action version almost ten years ago. It’s been a long road since then, but to be honest, it seemed like someone would do it eventually, and I admit I was concerned about who would play Motoko. I think Scarlett Johansson is about the best person they could have cast for the part, and I’m happy to be able to say that I have no objection to that choice.”
“I was a little surprised, too, by the way Hollywood does filming — how they’ll do the same scene take after take. They were doing a shot of someone walking into a store, and I thought they were going to be at it all night. I have no idea what was wrong that they wanted to repeat it so many times.”
It sounds like Johansson being cast was the least of the film’s problems in the long run, as both critics and audiences alike never warmed to the presentation that critics called “drab and “derivative.” The movie under-performed here in the US theatrically, and its worldwide box office managed to make back just slightly more than the film’s budget.
In the near future, Major (Scarlett Johansson) is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that she has been lied to: her life was not saved, it was stolen. She will stop at nothing to recover her past, find out who did this to her and stop them before they do it to others. Based on the internationally acclaimed Japanese Manga, “The Ghost in the Shell.”
‘Ghost in the Shell’ is available on digital home video and Blu-Ray/DVD now.