The live-action version of the anime classic Ghost in the Shell is due out next year, but until now it has not been clear what exactly the movie is adapting. The property encompasses several anime films and series, not to mention the manga on which it is originally based, but now the film’s producer has revealed that it will take inspiration from several sources.
In an interview with Collider, Avi Arad explained that the movie’s villain would be Kuze, who appeared in the series Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig, as opposed to Puppet Master from the first movie. “We’re not doing Puppet Master. It’s not Laughing Man. It involves Kuze,” he confirmed. “The big thing we are doing here is that we’re not necessarily doing an origins backstory, but we are addressing [lead character the Major]’s sense of self and resolving how she defines herself in terms of memories. That’s one of the main thrusts in the story. Inspired by [the episode] “Affection” in 2nd Gig. It’s bits and pieces of those mixed together.
“Part of the reason we didn’t do Puppetmaster in this movie was that we didn’t really feel like we had time to tell that story. In your first movie, the way the characters feel about themselves and the relationship with those people that they care about is usually more than enough story.”
Arad went to explain that fans would nevertheless notice elements from other Ghost in the Shell releases in the film. “You’ll recognize some things from Ghost in the Shell: Innocence like the geisha bot,” he said. “Everything we pulled from the movie is because we thought it was cool. There’s a whole thermoptic sequence with the garbageman. We did that because we thought it was really cool.
“A lot of the time when you see futurist movies either it feels very beautiful and removed and clean or you have to go down a grimy, dystopic world. Rupert [Wyatt, director] was chasing something else that was more similar to the source, where it felt really tactile and tangible.”
The first teasers for Ghost in the Shell were released in September–check them out here. The film stars Scarlett Johansson as the Major, who leads a futuristic anti-terrorist taskforce known as Section 9. It also features Game of Thrones‘ Pilou Asbæk as the Major’s partner Batou, plus Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt.
Ghost in the Shell hits theaters on March 31, 2017.