Next year’s Ghost in the Shell remake is taking a page out of the recent Disney playbook, adapting an animated classic into a live-action outing (despite the fact that the 1995 original – with its constant parade of nudity, over-the-top violence, and existential introspection – is a far, far cry from kiddie fare).
Rupert Sanders’s 2017 release looks to add a fair bit of new material into its retelling of Mamoru Oshii’s 21-year-old movie, including a new villain, a more “international” story, and, unsurprisingly, more martial arts fisticuffs involving Major Motoko Kusanagi (Scarlett Johansson). But there’s also an astonishing amount of repeat content, including, in some instances, a shot-for-shot remake of the original.
It would seem that this dance between the new and the old extends to the film’s weapons and costumes, as well. Screen Rant had the opportunity to grab an exclusive look at these designs when we were invited to the trailer reveal event in Tokyo recently, and we’re eager to share them with you; take a look below.
One of the original movie’s biggest impacts – and lasting cinematic legacies – was its huge emphasis that it placed on design, both in terms of the weapons and vehicles that the characters utilized as well as the cityscape they found themselves in. (Oshii famously changed the story’s setting from Japan, as it was in the manga source material, to Hong Kong, in order to have its background visuals more closely mirror the narrative’s focus on information streams.) The spider-like battle tanks that the Major fought, the thermoptic camouflage that she used to make herself invisible, and the various firearms that she constantly deployed were all highly detailed in a futuristic-yet-still-believable fashion.
Based upon the props and concept art sketches that we’ve witnessed, this delicate balance seems to have been carried forward into Sanders’s production. Much like the movie’s cinematography, a number of these items seem to have been directly transported from its animated predecessor directly; it’s as if the cartoon version of Batou (played by Pilou Asbaek in the upcoming outing) were holding a real, live-action gun or wearing a real, live-action coat. As we’ve said previously, this level of homage should make Oshii positively beam.
But, at the same time, all of these various production items’ designs have been subtly tweaked, most likely in an effort to make an updated, even-more-believable version – and to fit a new director’s new vision, of course. This variation should make for what we’re hoping will be a refreshing mix of the nostalgic with the dynamic, perhaps resulting in an effect that isn’t altogether that different from what director J.J. Abrams delivered with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.