Update: Laeta Kalogridis is female NOT male. I apologize. Changes have been noted.
Dreamworks’ adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s manga/anime classic Ghost In The Shell has snagged Laeta Kalogridis to adapt Shirow’s futuristic vision into a live-action 3D blockbuster. Kalogridis has penned such past gems as Oliver Stone’s Alexander and the American alt-history epic, Pathfinder, but is poised to be a breakout name for HER work adapting author Dennis Lehane’s novel Shutter Island into a Martin Scorsese film, which will be hitting theaters early next year.
Jamie Moss (Street Kings) had been tapped to draft an earlier version of Ghost In The Shell – guess his take on the story didn’t go over so well with the studio…The Ghost In Shell universe created by Shirow was a vision of the future where technology is everywhere and human beings have been augmented with cybernetic bodies 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.
The “heroes” of the story are known as Section 9, a government policing agency whose best operative is a sexy cyborg lady known as Major Motoko Kusanagi (see images above and below). A groundbreaking 1995 anime film based on Shirow’s manga comics focused on Kusanagi and Co. trying to hunt down a criminal known as “The Puppet Master,” who has the ability to hack peoples’ cybernetic brains and control them for evil ends. Though not confirmed, it has been speculated that the live-action film might follow this plotline as well.
When the anime feature film came out in 1995, I was a high school freshman in the full-swing of an anime addiction. My best friend and I grabbed up the movie from Sam Goody (remember those???) as soon as it hit shelves…er, actually we may have pre-ordered it in advance so that we could have it safely in our hands before it hit shelves. Dorks. The movie had some of the first CGI effects I can remember in an animated film, and despite the style-over-substance approach to the story, I was pretty wowed by the world that Masamune Shirow had envisioned (and all the nudity!), and have since watched it inspire countless American sci-fi/action films. A live-action version of GITS is long overdue.
Hopefully Dreamworks saw something in Kalogridis’ approach to the twisted psychological themes of Shutter Island (which are very apparent in the trailer) to deem her worthy of tackling the twisted psycho-technological themes of Ghost In The Shell. I want to have faith, however I keep reading the resume listings of Alexander and Pathfinder and can’t help but get nervous…
No word yet on who will direct or star in Ghost In The Shell.
Anime fans, what do you think of Laeta Kalogridis penning Ghost In The Shell? Good fit or misfit?