According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Japan-headquartered Production I.G. and publisher Kodansha are partnering to develop an animated reboot of “Ghost in the Shell,” based on the hit manga by Masamune Shirow. Production I.G. is responsible for the hit 1995 version of “Ghost in the Shell” that’s heralded as one of the best theatrically-released anime of all-time.
The film will reportedly be helmed by anime veterans Kenji Kamiyama (“Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” series) and Shinji Aramaki (“Appleseed”). No writers or voice cast have been attached to the project at this time.
“Ghost in the Shell” follows police officer Motoko Kusanagi, otherwise known as The Major, who works with the public-security agency Section 9 to track down a cyberterrorist named the Puppet Master who has been hacking into cyborgs and forcing them to commit crimes. The manga imagines a world in which public servants and the rich can transfer their consciousness into humanoid cyborg bodies called ghosts. The idea that a person can effectively be hacked into, therefore, poses a serious security threat for both Section 9 and The Major.
The news of an animated “Ghost in the Shell” reboot promptly follows the theatrical release of a live-action version starring Scarlett Johansson as Major. Heavily criticized for its perceived whitewashing, the film had a disappointing debut weekend at the box office, raking in a mere $19 million from North American theaters. “Ghost in the Shell” is slated to earn $50 million domestically and $150 million internationally for a combined take of $200 million. This number is much lower than the approximately $250 million Paramount and Dreamworks spent on producing and advertising the film.
Currently in theaters, the live-action “Ghost in the Shell” is a production of Paramount Pictures directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbaek, Chin Han and Juliette Binoche.