In a parallel universe where Paramount Pictures doesn’t alienate its fanbase, we might be talking about Ghost in the Shell as the big winner of this weekend and the de facto start of a new wave of Japanese Hollywood adaptations. Instead, DreamWorks Animation and The Boss Baby blew up the box office, no doubt delighting a handful of DreamWorks executives who watched the Ghost in the Shell controversy unfold with glasses of champagne in hand. After all, nobody’s going to boycott a movie about a baby who wears a suit.
After nearly six months of writing about teasers, trailers, and rumors for Paramount Pictures’ live-action Ghost in the Shell film, I figured it was time to sit down and actually watch the original 1995 animated movie. And I am here to tell you that it cleared up nothing for me. I’ll admit, the animation, production design, and soundtrack are all as impressive as rumored — the manga’s influence on the Wachowski Sisters is pretty hard to ignore in hindsight — but one movie was not enough to clear up my confusion regarding the Ghost in the Shell characters and universe as a whole.
This March, Scarlett Johansson will hit the big screen as the Major, in the live action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, the ground-breaking anime. There's been a lot of things said about the new movie already, which I will leave to other people. What is super exciting is that the original animated movie will hit Celebration Rivertown this February!