I realize I’m a little late on this tidbit of news, but fairly recently there were some rumors that began circulating on DreamWorks live-action take on the anime classic Ghost In The Shell. The biggest news is that Margot Robbie, famous for her role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf Of Wall Street, is said to be in talks to play the lead in the film. Rights and concepts to films are often bought up by studios, but many of them are never made into actual films (for instance, there have been talks about the live-action Akira and Cowboy Bebop movies for a long, long time), so the fact that the producers are speaking with actors is a good indication that this film will move forward.
On the positive side, as I once said about The Edge Of Tomorrow in another post, I think it’s cool that production companies are looking to stories from other countries as inspiration for new films. With so many of the American action films being based on Marvel comics or popular YA book series, I think pursuing narratives from other cultures is a good way to shake things up and create a greater variety of films.
On the down side, Hollywood will most assuredly fuck this up.
Arguably, this casting rumor shows that they already have. The name of the character Robbie is supposed to be playing is Major Motoko Kusanagi. Yes, that’s right, she’s supposed to be Japanese. She is, in fact, a member of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission, and the story is supposed to take place in near-future Japan. Of course, it was predictable that Hollywood would white wash the cast for this film, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing.
I’m also not thrilled with the director attached to the project. Rupert Sanders, most notable for his role in the downfall of the KStew-RPattz romance but also the director of Snow White and the Huntsman, is DreamWorks choice for the film. While I can tell Sanders has an appreciation for anime (since the forest spirit segment of Snow White and the Huntsman was basically stolen right out of Princess Mononoke), I’m not super confident in his directorial abilities. There were parts of Snow White that I enjoyed and many little details in it that I found interesting, but overall the film failed to live up to its potential, and I can imagine similar things happening with Ghost In The Shell.
I will be looking out for updates on the film and following any developments, assuming it continues to move forward. This seems like the sort of movie I will likely end up seeing, largely because I was a fan of the original anime, and I’m curious to see what they do with the source material. That being said, I’m not holding high hopes that it will be all that great.