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GHOST IN THE SHELL: Release Date March 2017

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Fortunately for those of you anxiously awaiting the live action version of Ghost in the Shell, Walt Disney Pictures has announced it’s moved up the release of the DreamWorks feature adaptation from Easter weekend 2017 to March 31, 2017.  And fret not, the pic will be released in 3D.

Now who, you may ask, are the main players in said feature film?  The movie is directed by Rupert Sanders.  Yes, he’s the Snow White and the Huntsman director, and the reason that Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson broke up.  However, it’s time for us to all move on.

The movie also stars none other than Scarlett Johansson, playing the lead female role of Motoko Kusanagi (the character name from the original anime version).  Rumor is that Johansson was offered $10M for the lead role, based on her success with her Black Widow role in the various Marvel movies, as well as her movie last summer, Lucy. Johansson took over the role after Margot Robbie left the production to play Harley Quinn in the Warner Bros. film The Suicide Squad.

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Word on the street is that the Ghost in the Shell film will be released at the same time as the Sony’s untitled Smurfs animation film.  Let’s stop and think about that for a moment.  This means that metaphorically, Ghost in the Shell will be going up against the yet-to-be-titled Smurfs animation film to be released at the same time.  So what? Scarlett Johansson will be dismembering Smurfs.  SciFi4Me can (of course) take no position on the topic, but we wonder, how many readers would pay good money to see ScarJo rend little blue limb from limb?

If you haven’t yet familiarized yourself with the Ghost in the Shell series, now’s a good time to catch up.  Created by Masamune Shirow (who claims to be a reincarnated Basset hound…see featured image), Ghost in the Shell was first published in 1989.  Two additional manga editions followed, along with three anime film adaptations, an anime TV series, and three video games. DreamWorks released the second anime film. In this cyber-tech thrillerthe members of a covert ops unit of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission fight an evolved consciousness that forces the characters and audience members to question the very nature of existence and humanity.

A suggestion: watch with an open/expanded mind.  And when you see the live action version, especially if you haven’t seen the anime version, take it with grain of salt.  Historically, live action versions of anime classics have fallen through (Akira) or fallen short (Gatchaman).  Don’t hate the anime, hate the film.  Or just play it safe with the little blue guys.  But be sure to turn your man card in at the door when you leave.

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