In case you missed it, the first proper trailer for Ghost In The Shell popped up last night, like an optically-camouflaged uppercut from the Major on some street scum. The film looks remarkable and is clearly borrowing liberally from the expanded anime and the original film that kicked everything off in earnest in the mid-90s. Scarlett Johansson’s Major also looks the part, a kickass cyborg who seeks answers to the mysteries of her previous life that resulted in her becoming nothing more than a brain in a metal shell of left hooks and pinpoint-marksmanship.
So who is all that high-tech titanium alloy pointed at then? A true cyber-revolutionary apparently, as Ghost In The Shell will focus on Hideo Kuze of the Second Gig anime series. “We’re not doing Puppetmaster. It’s not Laughing Man. It involves Kuze. The Kuze story,” producer Avi Arad said to Collider.
The big thing we are doing here is that we’re not necessarily doing an origins backstory, but we are addressing her sense of self and resolving how she defines herself in terms of memories. That’s one of the main thrusts in the story. Inspired by that episode of Affection in Second Gig. It’s bits and pieces of those mixed together.
And that might be a smart choice for Ghost In The Shell. While the Puppetmaster may be a more devastating villain, he’s also one without much of a presence. Kuze on the other hand, is an individual who serves as a dark mirror to the Major. Another full-body cyborg who seeks to start a cyberspace revolution, Hideo Kuze also has a sculpted face which portrays no emotion whatsoever in the Second Gig anime. Hell, his lips don’t even move when he talks. He’s simply unnerving to be around.
“There are outside villains but they are never the most interesting parts of a movie, especially your first movie,” Arad said of the choice to have Kuze as the main antagonist.
I find that part of the reason we didn’t do Puppetmaster in this movie was we didn’t really feel like we had time to tell that story, and in your first movie the way the characters feel about themselves and the relationship with those people that they care about is usually more than enough story for a movie to handle. So there are villains and they do drive a lot of the story, but they are really there to antagonize her spiritually.
The villains in the story are people that are abusing this brave new world. The movie certainly addresses this whole idea of in the future, if you think about everybody’s biggest fear around technology is about getting your identity stolen (which is really just your credit record) as apposed someone hacking your brain could happen here. The more technology gets inside of you and the more it’s woven into your life the more that people can abuse it. So there are characters, both at a criminal level and a governmental level, who are abusing technology and doing scary things.
Ghost hacking is a big storyline in the movie and in some ways we take it even further. This idea of if someone could change your memories, what would that do to your sense of self? After you meet that garbageman and you see him in the interrogation room. You’re like ‘that guy’s gone’.
You could have a really interesting movie about that guy trying to put his life back together. Being told you don’t have a wife and kids that you thought you did is a big hole.
Sounds good so far. I still maintain that Ghost In The Shell was years ahead of its time. Go on and read the original manga, to examine the notes that author Masamune Shirow left behind, to see just how futuristic his thinking was as he developed that universe.
Last Updated: November 14, 2016