Ever since the possibility first arose of a live-action "Ghost in the Shell" movie, a key question among fans of the various manga and anime has been with regard to which version of the story the the film would adapt. Well, it seems we now have the answer — it's all of them.
According to the Executive Producer Michael Costigan in a recent interview with IGN, what we will see is less of a straight adaption of any single story and more of "a portal into this universe."
"Ghost in the Shell" originally started out in 1989 as a manga series written and illustrated by mangaka Masamune Shirow. It followed the exploits of the "Mobile Armored Riot Police," a counter-terrorism unit run by Major Motoko Kusanagi, in a sci-fi Japan. An animated film version followed in 1995, followed by a number of different anime series over the years, and another animated movie in 2015.
Producer Avi Arad, who has some experience with translating complex universes of characters and stories to the big screen with Marvel, was even more explicit, saying "When we first started talking about getting rights for adapting ['Ghost in the Shell], the creators went out of their way to suggest that we don’t try to adapt one thing. When they were adapting it into 'Stand Alone Complex' they chose and felt like they had to tell their own story with expectation that it felt like 'Ghost in the Shell.' Our hope is that our process will get us there."
Directed by Rupert Sanders and starring Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Beat Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt, Kaori Momoi, Rila Fukushima, Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Lasarus Ratuere, Yutaka Izumihara and Tuwanda Manyimo. “Ghost in the Shell” is set for a March 31, 2017 release date.