Ghost In The Shell Movie Producer Says Their Version Is So Faithful

Ghost In The Shell Movie Producer Says Their Version Is So Faithful
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Next year, a live-action Hollywood Ghost in the Shell movie hits theatres. The moviemakers behind it are very excited, because they’re bringing the source material to life. Or so they say.

As ANN points out, interviews with cast and crew were recently published on The Nerdist and IGN. Neither interview deals with the elephant in the room, which is how the movie has come under fire for its casting decisions. Which makes certain comments in the interviews really standout. Case in point? When executive producer Michael Costigan told IGN this:

I feel like such a geek making this movie because we are really bringing it to life so faithfully.

Uh …

Continuing, Costigan said, “We are bringing things we saw in the anime to the fore in live action so I’m very excited for the fans.”

“Hopefully the film feels like the anime,” producer Avi Arad added.

The moviemakers are so invested in the live-action movie looking like the anime, at least on the surface, that the movie’s cinematographer Jess Hall lit every set up in the movie with the same 28 colours that appeared in the Ghost in the Shell and Innocence anime films. Intellectually, this is interesting, but why worry so much about the colours in the anime if you’re already taking liberties with the main character?

In the movie, Scarlet Johansson will apparently be referred to as “Major” (ditching the “Motoko Kusanagi,” I guess) to perhaps skip over the fact that the augmented-cybernetic human is Japanese in the original manga and anime. Though, the character’s mother will be played by Japanese actress Kaori Momoi in the movie, so yeah.

“We’re utilising people from all over the world,” producer Steven Paul told Buzzfeed earlier this summer. “There’s Japanese in it. There’s Chinese in it. There’s English in it. There’s Americans in it.”

Previously, Kotaku reported that the manga’s publisher, however, said it never imagined that a Japanese actress would play the character in the Hollywood version and many Japanese people online didn’t seem too fussed about the entire situation. The filmmakers have hired a whole host of Japanese actors for the film, but in supporting roles.

It’s a delicate issue, and you wonder if it might have been better to rework the setting from the fictional, futuristic Japan to better handle these casting changes, so fans aren’t left scratching their heads. Who knows, maybe it will all make sense in the movie. Maybe not.


    • Yep. It’s ridiculous. Without an A-list actor the movie doesn’t get made, but still they whinge.

      Although GITS is one of my favourite films of all time and I have NO hope for this version. But I’d love to be wrong.

    • I really don’t get the issue…

      Seriously… we’re talking about a setting where people chose to have bodies that are literally boxes on wheels…

      The Major can look like whatever she feels like…

      Console command “showracemenu”

    • Probably.
      I’m beginning to get a little sick of seeing her in everything myself.

      That kinda saturation just becomes a novelty after a while and it becomes harder to see the acting over the actor.

      Please let this be good

    • I seriously cannot roll my eyes any further back. These people who complain think they are being so faithful to the story and yet, seem to ignore that her body is artificial, i.e. it can look as anything and in fact we’ve seen her switching bodies.

  • the character’s mother

    Did I read that wrong? I thought the major was built from the ground up…

    • Yeah her body is fully cybernetic, though as with all of the characters in the anime they all have at the very least a human brain. So Kusanagi was born human, but her body was replaced, hence she’d still have a mother.

    • I was under the impression that the major had to get a new synthetic body as a young girl because of illness. I think this was mentioned in flashbacks in Stand Alone Complex.

        • In Stand Alone Complex it was a plane crash when she was a young girl, in the new Arise series her parents were killed in an accident when she was still in the womb in late pregnancy. Not sure if it was explicitly mentioned in the original movie, or what the manga had, but even if the details changed, she always started as human.

          This series has always looked into what physical appearance means when you can change your shell. If you can buy your own body and put your braincase in it, I’m pretty sure a few celebs would sell their likeness to prosthetic body manufacturers. Considering how the Japanese treat a lot of western culture now, picking a shell with a western appearance may even be preferable to some people.

          I think Johansen is a good choice after her empty and emotional-less performance later in the movie Lucy.

    • Her body is artificial, but her consciousness (the ‘ghost’) is that of a real person – that’s the point of the title and one of the core philosophical discussion Ghost in the Shell. All the philosophical navel-gazing it does is about the definition of what it is to be human if you could digitize your entire consciousness. The ‘ghost’ is what separates humans from robots.

      Kusanagi spends most of Innocence in a completely different body to the first film, and it’s strongly implied that she’s gone through many different ‘shells’. I honestly don’t see that much of an issue with the casting for the live action film, her body is artificial to begin with.

      I still think it’s going to be a complete abortion of a film but am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt until I see it.

  • Well, I’m look forwards to it.
    Even if it’s not 100% accurate, I think it will be fun.
    Excepting certain people, I’m sure it will please fans.
    Although those guys really need to get it together.
    Boycotting a film based on your own extremist views is very immature.
    Only people who choose to get outraged will even notice a problem.
    Otherwise it looks like a great film.

  • Scarlett still looks more like Ramona Flowers than Kusanagi. My only real issue with the movie is how much they’re saying it will be like the anime. I don’t want to watch the anime again, I want to watch something I haven’t seen before. There’s so much more in the manga they can adapt, use that instead and show us that you really understand the source material, not that you can copy something.

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