Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trailer for 'Ghost in the Shell' promises innovative sci-fi adventure

Hollywood studios are constantly looking for popular material to bring to the big screen, and while they'll spend the next several years mining the world of comics and superheroes, anime adaptations are going to be the new frontier. If you look at the list of manga adaptations, most of them have been animated films from Japan or South Korea, with very little exposure in the United States. The only American adaptations of anime films are Dragonball: Evolution and Speed Racer, both of which were box office flops. Over the next five years, films such as Alita: Battle Angel, Death Note, and Akira should make their way to the big screen, bringing big-budget anime adaptations to light in a new way. The first of those adaptations will be Ghost in the Shell, which is set for a March 2017 release from director Rupert Sanders. The film has already garnered a significant amount of controversy for the whitewashing of its main character, who is Asian in the comic but will be played by Scarlett Johansson on the big screen. The controversy will continue to swirl until the film hits theaters and will provoke an important discussion, but as a fan of bold and unique science fiction, I'm rooting for this film to succeed. Paramount and Dreamworks premiered the trailer earlier today at an event in Tokyo. Check it out below!

Before I dive into how excited I am for this film, I have to point out that there is genuine reason for skepticism with this project. Rupert Sanders is a great visual stylist but a lackluster storyteller, and Snow White and the Huntsman suffered from that problem. It was beautifully boring, and I worry that that might become Sanders' trademark. The fact that Straight Outta Compton's Jonathan Herman is writing the screenplay gives me some confidence, but I am still concerned that Ghost in the Shell could fall short in the story department. That being said, this looks like a dazzling film. Some of the visuals on display in this trailer are truly jaw-dropping and breathtaking, totally unique in the modern blockbuster world. Even if Ghost in the Shell disappoints, it will be one of the most visually stunning movies of 2017. Overall, this looks like an exceptionally fun action movie, a modern rendition of Blade Runner that could be a breakout hit next year. Scarlett Johansson turned Lucy into a major smash, and I'm hoping she can do the same with this big-budget adaptation. With Valerian, A Cure for Wellness, Ghost in the Shell, and a variety of franchise films like Star Wars: Episode VIII, Blade Runner 2049, and Alien: Covenant all hitting theaters next year, it's shaping up to be a pretty great year for science fiction. 

Ghost in the Shell hits theaters on March 31, 2017. 

Image Credit: Screen Rant

1 comment:

  1. I agree on the Blade Runner vibe :)

    I don't agree the actress should be Asian per se, just because the comic is from Japan. The whole point of equality is to not discriminate for color and other external features. The public wants familiar faces, Hollywood has only so many Asian stars and Lucy Lu can only be on one place at a time.

    On the other hand, if the film is a hit, it will fuel (more) interest in (the original) anime movies and the public will see for the originals.