Ghost in the Shell

Masamune Shirow’s well-traveled series Ghost in the Shell has just been optioned by Dreamworks to create a 3-D live-action film. Variety reports that uber-busy Steven Speilberg snatched the project from Universal and Sony Pictures and made it a priority of his to get the film at Dreamworks. “Ghost in the Shell is one of my favorite series,” Speilberg exclaimed upon purchasing the rights.

The project, to be penned by Street Kings scribe Jamie Moss, is also being produced by Marvel’s Avi Arad and Seaside Entertainment’s Steven Paul. No director has been announced, and the inclusion of 3-D effects at this point is merely hearsay, but it sure would be optimal to do it on a project like this.

The original Manga, first produced in 1989, has since spawned several movies, a TV series, novels, and video games. The story revolves around Public Security Section 9 agent Motoko Kusanagi (who I’m gonna say right now, to the delight of FSR editor Neil Miller, should be played by an amped-up Ellen Page, who needs to get away from the sarcastic-teen roles ASAP) and her male counterpart in ass-kickery Batou (a big, burly man with prosthetic grey eyes) who fight techno-crime using their cyborgian bodies and take-no-prisoners fighting skills. The series has a legion of fans that stretches across two decades and multiple continents and most should be happy that a live-action film is on the way. Speilberg and Arad know how to please the fans and with such lucrative producers attached, budget should not be an issue.

Ghost in the Shell has no start date for pre-production as of yet, and a director should be named relatively soon. The tone this film takes will most likely be heavily sci-fi with a lot of wry humor sprinkled over the effects-laden canvas. Another anime-inspired live-action film, James Wong’s Dragonball, is due in theaters April, 2009.

Talking Point: 3-D or not, What do you think of a Ghost in the Shell movie?

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