The news today that Shutter Island writer Laeta Kalogridis has been retained to work on DreamWorks’ live-action version of Ghost in the Shell, to eventually be projected in 3D, feels like it’s coming from the “what’s taking so long” department. The property, based on Masamune Shirow’s comic book, is a dense, heady odyssey into a world where people can download their souls into cybernetic bodies known as “shells.” It follows a similarly enhanced female police detective who — while tracking the first naturally evolving artificial intelligence — begins to wonder how much human she’s got left in her metal chassis. And this wouldn’t be the first time it’s been adapted:
There are, at last count, three anime films, one TV series, a handful of novels, a pair of videogames, and, of course, Shirow’s original manga. And Ghost in the Shell is a natural for Hollywoodization: What it will likely lose in ponderous philosophizing, Ghost will gain in a more disciplined story structure (especially with Steven Spielberg executive producing), something many Japanese animated films manifestly lack. Plus, Kalogridis seems like a good choice: Before writing Martin Scorsese’s upcoming Shutter Island, she was the initial engine for NBC’s Bionic Woman revamp, having written the pilot episode. Maybe she’s got some outstanding lady-cyborg-ballbuster issues to work out.
Whaddya think? Should Hollywood leave well enough alone, or is this a property that would flourish with Hollywood treatment?