Ghost In The Shell Script: Action, Atmosphere & The Internet

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 16th, 2010 at 8:08 am,

ghost in the shell script Ghost In The Shell Script: Action, Atmosphere & The Internet

Unless you were a manga/anime fan in the 1990s, you might not be up on all the geeky details of Ghost In The Shell. Allow me to recap: It started with Shirow Masamune’s classic manga comic, first published in 1989. In 1995, Ghost In The Shell was made into a groundbreaking anime film that became a cult smash here in the states. Animated sequels and miniseries have followed throughout the years.

About two years ago we first got word that a live-action Ghost In The Shell movie was in the pipeline over at Dreamworks, and back in October we were updated with the news that Shutter Island scribe Laeta Kalogridis will be writing the script (she replaces Street Kings writer Jamie Moss).

Well this past week I had a chance to ask Kalogridis a few questions (as a friendly PR person was whisking her out of the Shutter Island press conference in NYC), and she was kind enough pause and give me a few answers on some key points I know you Ghost In The Shell fans have been wondering about.

If you don’t know, Ghost In The Shell is a serial-killer conspiracy mystery set in a  future where technology is everything and human beings have been augmented with cybernetic parts down to their very brains, which are hardwired into a neural network that I can only describe as having the Internet pumped directly into your mind.

Now, most Ghost fans will tell you that there is a big difference between Masamune’s manga comic and the anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii. The manga is a full of action – a cyber-punk action/mystery with heady themes. The anime followed the basic plot of the manga, but put a lot more emphasis on those heady themes, resulting in an “atmospheric” film with a meditative tone that some people weren’t fond of.

So of course, Ghost fans everywhere are wondering if this upcoming live-action film is going to be more like the manga or the anime movie.

Kalogridis told me that the script for Ghost In The Shell will be drawn from  Masamune’s manga comic and that it has “a lot of action… lots of action.” However, she then added, “there’s still going to be a lot of atmosphere – [The movie] is about vast possibilities – all of this technology, the Internet – it’s about the limitless possibilities of this technology.

ghost in the shell image Ghost In The Shell Script: Action, Atmosphere & The Internet

Again, if you don’t know a lot about Ghost In the Shell then that statement may be a bit confusing. The murder mystery plot of Ghost In The Shell has Major Motoko Kusanagi and her team trying to track down a killer who can “hack” people’s minds through their neural networks, forcing them do unspeakable things. As Kusanagi tries to delve into the network and piece together the killer’s true identity, questions about reality, the human mind and/or soul and the role of technology in our world begin to bubble to the surface.

Based on Kalogridis’ words, I’m envisioning this Ghost In The Shell flick as being in the cyber-noir-meets-philosophy style of The Matrix or Minority Report. Is that a bad thing? Certainly not. However, as always, there is a definite risk that the ideas being explored in Ghost In The Shell could be too heady and heavy for viewers expecting a futuristic action thriller. And I can tell you: Kalogridis is not afraid to dive into some deep waters; expect her script to be deep…and dark.

So, what do you guys make of all this? Sound like a Ghost In The Shell movie you want to see?

Ghost In The Shell is currently in development, slated for release in 2011.

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  1. wow 2011, sooner than i thought, i havent read the manga and i've only watched some of the episodes of the anime but i think GiS is pretty cool.
    is it going to be live action or animated ?

  2. Definitely want to see it.

    I've watched a lot of the Anime and I own both movies that I got like 2-3 years ago but I have yet to watch them for some reason but now I have the urge to finally take the plastic off and pop 'em in my player.

    I can't remember if I heard about this live action movie a while ago and just forgot or if I'm just discovering it for the first time but either way I'm pumped and if the movie trailers look how they're suppose to look and not like some Uwe Boll monstrosity, then I'll definitely be there.

    I want that world to be REAL.

    (And I love the theme songs. Here's hoping Origa is also involved.)

  3. I've never read the manga but Ghost In The Shell is one of my favourite animes ( along with Akira ). This could be an amazing movie , I hope that it works out.

  4. I became a dedicated fan for the integration of characterization, story, and philosophical issues addressed. It's a different take on a machine integrated world. Unlike the “Matrix” or “Terminator” stories machine intelligences serve man in a multitude of endeavors whether they be for dark, gray, or white ends. Stories colored by A.I. agendas aren't as often playing a central role. I guess what troubles me most is the character of the organization known as Section 9 will be different due to adaptation of the story to Western tastes. Lots of ways to stumble and fall doing an adaptation. Overall though I consider “GITS,” as it's often called, a far more adaptable and relatable property than say “Akira” or “Sailor Moon.”

  5. Peaple don't mess this up Hollywood.

    RIP JD Salinger. =(

    • Although i did contribute to Ghost in the Shell, please don’t harp on my death. I consider people like you to be a very disappointment to today’s society. Thanks anyway my friend.

  6. Is Spielberg still involved with this? I can't remember if I heard he was going to direct, or just produce, but I know I read somewhere a while back that Spielberg was attached to this project somehow.

    GITS was one of the things that really inspired the Wachowskis to make The Matrix, though, so I'd like to see them behind the film. Their resume isn't exactly great, what the Matrix sequels and Speed Racer, but they've got an eye for style and action, at the very least, and that, coupled with a strong script by Kalogridis, I think it could work.

  7. As an actress, I would give anything to play Motoko Kusanagi on film. But alas, someone else will be . . .

  8. Ghost in the Shell has been a movie I wanted to see turn live action in a long time. The only one I want to see more than this one would be Witchblade! I don't see this movie making that release date though. I don't think that would be enough time to shoot and edit and add cgi……………….

  9. Hey man, I liked Speed Racer, it wasn't prtending to be anything that it wasn't, a live action cartoon. Not sure what people were expecting, but the cardboard characters and hokey dialogue were great and the visuals were simply stunning. Now if they had only been able to play the original theme music it would have been complete. as for the Matrix sequels, I can give them a pass, Revolutions was not as bad as people make it out to be (imho, ymmv) and Reloaded wasn't great, but at least it wasn't Spiderman 3 or Transformers 2.

  10. I think Dreamworks is behind the production which is why Spielberg was initially involved but currently Arad productions and Steven Paul [Ghost Rider 1 and 2, SuperBabies] are producing. Spielberg is nowhere in sight. Kalogridis who has done “Pathfinder,” “Alexander,” “Shutter Island,” and Cameron's “Battle Angel,” among others may have the magic written formula or not. I guess we'll see if any rumors about rewrites comes up.

    Alot of people feel the way you do about the Wachowskis brothers it's not an unusual sentiment but i don't see much gain by going that way. Their are plenty of other talent out there that can handle this kind of production and at the root of GITS should be a slick crime drama. Walter Hill, Steven Soderbergh, Brian Koppelman, Michael Mann, Paul Greengrass, or Jon Avnet are just a few that could bring us that element…

  11. I am one of thos Ghost in the Shell anime fans. I must say that this is OK for me, I'm not excited or angry, just in the middle. Which is not a bad thing. I look forward to seeing this film though.

  12. I have watched some series of its anime but not all and I totally like how technologies are able to combine with human down to the brain itself & the philosophy behind the anime. I did not read the manga but GITS have become one of favorite.

    I do hope that they would not mess this up.

  13. I agree, the Wachowskis did a great job adapting Speed Racer into a live action movie, many people who say they didn't like it either were probably not fans of the original or never saw it, but it was a great film and adaption. I have high hopes for this, as long as they keep in mind the the action is less important than the story, and that this property was never really intended for children.

  14. I agree, the Wachowskis did a great job adapting Speed Racer into a live action movie, many people who say they didn't like it either were probably not fans of the original or never saw it, but it was a great film and adaption. I have high hopes for this, as long as they keep in mind the the action is less important than the story, and that this property was never really intended for children.

  15. I really, really hope that Hollywood doesn't water this down.

    Them saying that it has “lots of action” kind of makes me nervous because that sounds like every other typical Hollywood action movie and I really don't want it to blend in as that.

    Also, I'm nervous about who they are going to cast as the main female role.

  16. Developing a 3D live-action adaptation for the Ghost in the Shell universe is a real challenge for DreamWorks. Hopefully, Laeta kalogridis who writes for the adaptation will be able to retain all the undertones and subtle nuances of the original story. Live action movie should not be another Hollywood cyper cop story.