Kitano Joins Live Action GHOST IN THE SHELL

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Kitano Joins Live Action GHOST IN THE SHELL

Well, now, this is some interesting news ...

Japan's Cinema Today are reporting that Kitano Takeshi - the iconic director and performer - has joined the cast of the Rupert Sanders directed, live action adaptation of classic anime and manga Ghost In The Shell.

The production has taken some heat for the - to this point - all white casting (Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek and Michael Pitt have been announced thus far) and the casting of the iconic Kitano as Section 9 chief Arakami Daisuke should alleviate some of that. This will mark Kitano's first appearance in a Hollywood film since 1995's Johnny Mnemonic and hopefully the results here are somewhat better.

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ghost in the shelllive actionmichael pittPilou Asbaekrupert sandersscarlett johanssontakeshi kitano

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kim jørgensenMarch 3, 2016 10:43 AM

This is so cool.

ManateeAdvocateMarch 3, 2016 11:34 AM

I adore Kitano like nobody's business, but man alive am I being a chronically pessimistic asshole about this project.

Ard VijnMarch 3, 2016 11:53 AM

Ok, I hadn't expected this. So that's three of my favorite actors together in a film I highly doubt will be any good. Hm.

this bear is tops bloobyMarch 3, 2016 12:16 PM

But with good reason. I don't have faith either, but I'll watch it, and I think it might possibly be passable.

DragonSpikeXIII .March 3, 2016 1:16 PM

I liked him in Mr. Lawrence but appearing in Johnny Mnemonic was a big step down, and now this? The money must have been too good to pass, again.

HeidyMMarch 3, 2016 2:12 PM

I'll watch the film "just cuz" also... but Kitano makes it more palatable to say the least

bricriu .March 3, 2016 3:46 PM

A good choice. Aramaki has a very gruff, no nonsense, straight laced demeanor. Beat Takeshi is perfect.

Scarlett Johansson not so much, though not for the white-washing criticisms rallied against her. That always struck me as odd when it is never stated what race the Major is. In the second manga series she inhabits numerous bodies, seemingly all of different races. It's kind of the entire point of the story and her place in it. Things as trivial as racial identity and gender don't define our humanity. It's what's inside that counts. I think that fact is lost on most of the people up in arms about it.

omnisemantic1March 3, 2016 3:56 PM

I was literally just writing the same thing ^^
Motoko has no racial or gender identity as she's been full cyborg since early childhood. If there is an anime story that's easy to transplant to US soil, while keeping the Japanese origins of the work, it's this one. I'm more worried about how they'll revise the Laughing Man plot. Worried is putting it mildly ofc - I'm almost certain it's going to suck balls :S

bricriu .March 3, 2016 4:08 PM

Agreed. An idea as esoteric as the "standalone complex" is far too, well, complex for Hollywood. It would be wonderful if maybe other 'high concept' sci-fi movies, (Interstellar/Ex Machina etc.), might have paved the way for this to be done right? Yeah, I know. It's not going to be done right. But as one of my all-time favorite works I have to hold onto some sliver of hope. Just gotta.

Jason GrayMarch 3, 2016 5:27 PM

Her mother will be played by a famous Japanese actress.

A British actor who once starred in an Italo-horror film is in there, too.

Gopal NatarajanMarch 3, 2016 6:31 PM

So, is Kitano-as-Aramaki going to speak to ScarJo-as-Kusanagi in Japanese? LOL

Jason GrayMarch 3, 2016 7:10 PM

Scratch second blurb -- incorrect.

Elsie ParoubekMarch 3, 2016 10:20 PM

Will be revoiced by Seth Rogen.

omnisemantic1March 4, 2016 8:35 AM

Well, it is complex not only for Hollywood, but in general too. In all fairness I hardly understood anything the first time around watching GITS:SAC, but I was fascinated by it nonetheless. They just need to realize that the truly important thing is not that everyone "gets it", but to make people WANT TO "get it"...
But yeah, pretty sure it ain't happening. If they had someone like Villeneuve at the helm it'd be a different story altogether, but Sanders at best will just get the visuals and the atmosphere right.

ZetobeltMarch 5, 2016 8:11 PM

"Interesting" would had been to put Kitano in the director's chair.

HowardMarch 6, 2016 8:53 PM

still waiting on my boy, Leo da Gawd, to play Kaneda.

OSGMarch 7, 2016 1:16 AM

I have a different outlook but I totally agree with what you're saying.

Characters in manga are all mostly white with a mix of other races of people... with Japanese anatomy--sans skin and eyes. If you're representing a made up race of people, I say: go to town with casting. You can't whitewash something that's already been thoroughly bleached by the original authors.

bricriu .March 7, 2016 12:54 PM

I don't think most anime characters are supposed to be white or specifically race-less. The stylized wide-open eyes find their origin in old Western cartoons, (think Betty Boop), but only because they appear more innocent and "Good" than characters with more almond shaped eyes. Characters who are evil or devious are typically drawn with more narrow eyes. It's cartoon shorthand, not indicative of any statement on race.