Laeta Kalogridis Writing DreamWorks' Ghost in the Shell 3D
by Alex Billington
October 23, 2009
Some news today on the anime front. Variety is reporting that DreamWorks has hired screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis to adapt the Ghost in the Shell manga into a futuristic live-action 3D police thriller. It was first discovered that DreamWorks, under Steven Spielberg's supervision, would be bringing this anime to life on the big screen in 3D more than a year ago. Jamie Moss (Street Kings) was originally hired to write the first draft, but now Kalogridis is taking over. Avi Arad, Ari Arad and Steven Paul of Seaside Entertainment are attached to produce, but Spielberg isn't named any more. I really hope she knows what she'd doing!
Ms. Kalogridis has had a very interesting change of fate over the past few years. The 44-year-old writer previously wrote Alexander and Pathfinder, two movies that not only flopped at the box office, but were downright awful. Out of nowhere, she adapted Shutter Island for Martin Scorsese to direct, and so far that looks great. Now she's writing Ghost in the Shell and is also credited for the Battle Angel adaptation that James Cameron is still attached to direct. I really hope that Shutter Island wasn't just a fluke, because I don't want to see Ghost in the Shell get screwed up. It has so much potential as a good live-action movie!
Reader Feedback - 39 Comments
"Alexander" was great as a giant History Channel-style biopic...the screenplay was dead on accurate 90% of the time to actual history...the only problem is that if you don't really already dig Alexander the Great and or Colin Farrell and Anthony Hopkins voiceover, the movie just isn't for you...:( I loved it. That being said, "Pathfinder" was a giant turd.
LINKFX on Oct 23, 2009
I've been saying for years that this should be directed by Michael Mann.
chrad on Oct 23, 2009
Not only because he's your go-to guy for big, character driven crime action/dramas, but also because the aesthetics of Collateral and Miami Vice were pretty cyberpunk already.
chrad on Oct 23, 2009
chrad right on plus if mann did it you know it would have an awsome soundtrack
rowdy on Oct 23, 2009
Wow never thought of Mann as director Chard but now that you mention it he would be perfect.
The Clergy Ark on Oct 23, 2009
Please don't screw this up it is an anime classic.
600RR on Oct 23, 2009
I thought a particular co-worker was insane when he would continually freak out over the Transformers movies. Now I share his paranoia, and I have reason to watch Alexander and Pathfinder. I'm not going to enjoy them--I'm going to pick them to pieces. There is no way I can enjoy movies when I'm vainly scrutinizing them!
Prestron on Oct 23, 2009
Well, I thought the original anime movie sucked but I loved the anime series. So, I wouldn't be against a live-action version of this.
SlashBeast on Oct 23, 2009
First of all: No real woman has those body proportions so - there goes half your audience right there. Second: her robotically immobile face works as an anime doll, but in live action? Just trying to picture it and -while the world she lives in is super cool and would certainly outdo, say, A.I. - as a protagonist I'm just having trouble seeing emotionless robotic babe-doll as having much mass appeal. I mean, who is the female equivalent of Keanu Reeves? Anyone?
Django on Oct 23, 2009
hope this restarts the cyber-punk genre
NaySayer on Oct 23, 2009
Oh no! So they are really going forward with this.. Looking at the producers past movies and I can already see what is going to happen to this movie. X-Men, Spiderman, Electra?! for f.. sake. GITS is not a Marvel action comicbook. I'm almost sure that they will bin the Kenji Kawai soundtrack as well and replace it with some cheesy teenage angst heavy metal.. The only way I would support this idea is if they would get Wong Kar Wai to direct it (seen Fallen Angels?) and use Kawai soundtrack. As for the actors, I think I would prefer some unknown talents.
Markus on Oct 23, 2009
Why don't Dream works just have the original creator write the damn thing, and have michael mann direct it. I am sick and tired of these american film companies taking good stuff from over seas and messing them up. Then they pay some PR guy to call it the number 1 movie in America.
fritzyndawolf on Oct 23, 2009
Because fritzyndawolf if they hire the guy to write the movie we might get Ghost in the Shell 2 crap again...and no one wants that.
jesse on Oct 23, 2009
Jesse I for one like the first Ghost in the Shell, and I believe alot of others do as well. I just believe that they should have Masamune Shiro write it because it was his idea and he understands it well, if not him at least have someone sit down with him and come up with a story that way you end up with a great product. I'm sorry but I just don't believe in someone writing a script for something they never even knew about or cared about. This is what I see them doing cause this seems to be the current trend, they will take the main character change then name, write a totally different story that is so far from the original concept get the latest pretty girl in the business to play the role. Then lastly call it Ghost in the Shell. At that point we the fans of the original work will rush to see it only to come out wonder what the heck was that, and later on tv you will see the number 1 movie in america Ghost In The Shell.
fritzyndawolf on Oct 23, 2009
"bring this anime to life on the big screen in 3D" there's a good way to ruin one of the best Anime's of all time, now that Akira is apparently back on track how long will it be before they want that in "oooh" "Ahh" "Its coming at me" gimmicky 3D?
xerxex on Oct 23, 2009
my fav anime/manga of all time, that wont change even if they f*ck this sh*t up. but i do hope spielberg has a lot of say in this. mann would be too retarded to direct something this thought provoking, regardless of how much action there could be.
lego on Oct 23, 2009
Here's an idea.. have Masamune Shirow (manga creator), Mamoru Oshii (film creator), and Kenji Kamiyama (anime creator) make a new Ghost In The Shell movie in 2D, like it's supposed to be. Then ban any other attempts to destroy great anime by making live-action or CGI adaptations. Anyone? That said, if live-action American adaptations can't be stopped, aren't the Wachowski brothers an obvious choice for this?
Dark Fist on Oct 23, 2009
Ridley Scott could do this
MTHand on Oct 23, 2009
Bah...3-D : And why not get some actual people who've worked with and love the anime to help write? Then again who knows...maybe it will turn out awesome? *hopes*
Sabes on Oct 23, 2009
Dark Fisk, you are right on point with your statement.
fritzyndawolf on Oct 23, 2009
What about ratings? This was a violent movie and had plenty of nudity in it. The TV series lacked that and it showed. Disney will never make a good PG-13 movie out of this. It needs to be R and that won't happen under Disney. I hope it doesn't happen.
Nate on Oct 23, 2009
Sorry guys, I think Darren Aronofsky would be amazing!!!
Candy Castle on Oct 23, 2009
Ghost in the fucking SHELL!!! I'm psyched no matter what!!
esophus on Oct 23, 2009
It could work, but one of the things that makes the manga worth animating and making a live action version of, is Masamune Shirows writing and concepts! some of it is quirky and could really suck with the wrong person doing it. I dont know this womans writing so Im not criticizing it, but I think Shirow needs a stronger presence in this project!!! You guys who mentioned the Wachowski brothers having anything to do with this need to go sit in the corner and apologize!
Lando on Oct 23, 2009
Dragonball Evolution in 3D would've made my life, that's the only thing that movie needed to be perfect, it was already full of crowd drawing (or crowd deterring) gimmicks
Kail on Oct 23, 2009
No No, plz stop trying to do animes. Let them jsut stay how they are.
M on Oct 23, 2009
I agree with Candy Castle (22), Aronofsky should be the one directing this movie.
Redge on Oct 23, 2009
More reasons for Mann as director: -heavy focus on the procedural aspects of law enforcement, which are a big part of Ghost in the Shell -high attention to weapon detail and realistic gun battles, another big part of Ghost in the Shell -focus on teams who devote their lives to work -his recurring themes of technology and the modern world isolating his characters emotionally It's hard to think of a better combination of director and content. GITS would allow Mann to explore his favourite ground while also pushing forward into new territory.
chrad on Oct 23, 2009
Avi Arad is involved... This is not good.
Mark on Oct 23, 2009
damn it.... they really are doing this.... sigh. Can Hollywood make it as "deep" and "dark" as Shirow??? they struggle to even make a 2D movie right, so just jump to 3D???
Major Kusanagi on Oct 23, 2009
...CANT WAIT FOR THIS ! ! !
heN.rY. on Oct 24, 2009
@ Lando: Unlike the other directors mentioned here, the Wachowski brothers are actually known to be anime / Ghost in the Shell fans.
Dark Fist on Oct 24, 2009
@chrad....I respect your love for Mann as a director but...read the post below Okay, I am sick of the suggestion for Michael Mann directing the project. I don't want to see Mann directing this due to the fact Ghost in the Shell is not just some cyber punk drama set under a gritty criminal environment. If it were, then I'd possibly be all aboard for Mann. But Ghost in the Shell has a lot of cerebral content mixed in with some head scratchin' philosophy points. Michael Mann is a great director, but I dont think he could just suddenly start splurting out films about law enforcement, philosophy, and long winded conversations or monologues about the human soul in just a few years. Quite frankly, I'm kinda nervous about this. It could rise or fall depending on both SCREENWRITER and DIRECTOR.....so hopefull this Laeta Kalogridis person can get the screenplay right.
Bilbo on Oct 24, 2009
#32, I understand they are well known anime fans, its apparent in the look of their work..however, I think their fandom doesnt necessarily translate into good story telling. while I enjoyed the matrix concept, I did not enjoy their execution of it, their style works exceptionally well for something like speed racer (I surprisingly liked it) but thats about it. I dont think they have shown the depth it takes to pull something off like a live action ghost in the shell without making it into some live action role playing game complete with a bad soundtrack.
Lando on Oct 24, 2009
There are very few directors in Hollywood who have produced work that approximates the style of GITS. Honestly, I'd rather see a new take on the material. A film that tackles philosophical issues in such a head-on way as GITS does simply isn't going to be made in Hollywood, and if it were it would be so diluted as to be a waste of time. If it could be pulled off, that would be great, but I just can't see it.
chrad on Oct 25, 2009
You can be a purist or you can accept that the someone has chosen to attempt the project. We can hope that they understand that a strong and loyal fanbase can boost their efforts or hamper them. However, Hollywood is a business, and $$$ talks. Unless you've got $100K and are a qualified film investor, you get very little say. Unless you're regularly published in the entertainment media you get very little say. Let's try to keep the discussion light and friendly. If you must criticize, do so fairly, it's OK to express frustration, but don't expect to derail a funded project. With all that said, I'm hoping that we see the very best work that the screenwriter has ever produced. I hope she *IS* a true fan of Shirow, or at the very least consults with a lot of true fans. (I wonder why I didn't notice this thread back in October?)
CTYankee on Jan 5, 2010
Let's hope it doesn't turn out to be something similar like the Dragon Ball live action movie...
Cid on Apr 4, 2010
They should cast Bianca Beauchamp as Motoko Kusanag!!!!!
Tachikoma on Jul 16, 2010
I do hope Ms. Kalogridis will be able to write a great adaptation for DreamWorks. Ghost in the Shell truly deserves it.
GitS Anime on Aug 2, 2010
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