‘Ghost in the Shell’ Producer Reveals Storyline Details and What’s Adapted From the Anime
Last Thursday night, Paramount gathered press in New York for a special presentation on the studio’s upcoming projects. Nestled between the sizzle reels for Martin Scorsese‘s long-awaited Silence and Denzel Washington’s buzzy Fences adaptation was an extended look at their upcoming rework of seminal anime Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson in a range-stretching performance as an Asian robot. (Both Asian cultural watchdog groups and more principled robots have expressed objections to this, but that’s neither here nor there.) Paramount’s stoking the fires of anticipation for their prospective early-spring blockbuster before its release next year, and a new piece from Collider should only raise the temperature higher.
Collider accepted an invitation from Paramount to visit the set of Ghost in the Shell in New Zealand earlier this year, and their report from the experience contains all sorts of new insights about what to expect from the film in terms of characters, plot, and faithfulness to the original. Producer Avi Arad provided most of the meatiest quotes, including the following soundbite, clarifying the primary antagonist of the film:
We’re not doing Puppetmaster. It’s not Laughing Man. It involves Kuze. The Kuze story. The big thing we are doing here is that we’re not necessarily doing an origins backstory, but we are addressing her 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 that episode of Affection in Second Gig. It’s bits and pieces of those mixed together.”
“Affection,” by the way, was an episode of the Ghost in the Shell animated series. In fact, one of the biggest fan concerns revolves around how the film will interact with its source material, but Arad’s confident that they’ve done right by the anime:
“You’ll recognize some things from Ghost in the Shell: Innocence like the geisha bot. 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 was chasing something else that was more similar to the source where it felt really tactile and tangible and you had things like cables even though wireless makes more sense. If you look at the original, the guys’ hands break off and type. Even in 1995 the idea that if you talked to a computer you’d type really, really fast didn’t make sense. That’s where we are coming from a lot of the time.”
There’s plenty more to pore over in the Collider piece, so curious parties should by all means take a look. And as ever, we patiently await a statement from the Cyborg Anti-Defamation League. Ghost in the Shell opens March 31, 2017.