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17 Through ’17: Ghost in the Shell

Here’s our list of 17 not to be missed movies to see starting next month and through the end to 2017.  Each day we will bring you the next on the list.  These are in chronological order of release date, not any specific ranking of hype or expectations.  We leave that up to the reader!

Let’s get started . . .

Note: All release dates are subject to change.

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell

Opens:  March 31, 2017
Rated:  Pending (likely PG-13)
Director:  Rupert Sanders
Starring:  Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Michael Pitt

The poster to the left is from the Japanese anime version of the movie, because we have no official poster at this stage.

A live action version of Oshii Mamoru‘s classic and masterful anime adaption of Masamune Shirow‘s original manga . . . Ghost in the Shell.  The title is a reference to housing a “soul” or “intelligence” within an artificial, cybernetic shell.  What is the interpretation of human versus machine in this setting? Most nerds probably know the live action version was in development, but the production has been mired down in controversy concerning “whitewashing” of the story by casting Scarlett Johansson as the main character Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cybernetic law enforcement specialist working in a near future Japan of 2029 (the original manga was written in 1989). Kusanagi isn’t Asian per se, but is a robot.  So is it really whitewashing?  I’ll let other’s duke it out concerning this detail.

Related:  Official 'Ender's Game' Trailer

But more of an enigma are the teaser trailers recently released giving us our first glimpse into the live action world of Ghost in the Shell.

Here’s a short synopsis:

Cyborg federal agent Major Motoko Kusanagi trails “The Puppet Master”, who illegally hacks into the minds of cyborg-human hybrids. Kusanagi’s pursuit of a man who can modify the identity of strangers leaves her pondering her own makeup, and what life might be like if she had more human traits. With her partner, Kusanagi corners the hacker, but her curiosity about her identity sends the case in an unforeseen direction.

The Hype: The potential to be the next The Matrix.  Cyberpunk-like movies are few and far between, but this one is an established classic already.

The Caution:  The potential to be an utter disaster. Fans of the original(s) could soundly reject this version, causing it to flop. The general movie going public outside of Japan (and perhaps parts of Asia) have no knowledge of Ghost in the Shell, causing it to be an enormous risk for Paramount and DreamWorks.

About Neal Ulen

Neal Ulen
Editor/Webmaster - Neal is a writer and recovering engineer who likes pizza, the insidious power of sarcasm (and pizza), and debating science fiction (and pizza). You can also find his writing on Omni, Geeks, and other media platforms.