The original Ghost in the Shell anime movie will return to theaters this fall with a new 4K remaster.
The newly remastered film will be distributed by Lionsgate in North America and will be shown exclusively on IMAX screens. This release will mark the first time that seminal anime will be shown in IMAX. Ghost in the Shell was directed by Mamoru Oshii and was originally released in Japan in 1995. It was one of the first anime movies to be faithfully localized and released in the United States unedited, and it is often credited alongside Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira as one of the works that helped anime find an adult audience outside of Japan. The film has been cited as an influence by filmmakers such as James Cameron and The Matrix creators Lana and Lilly Wachowski.
Ghost in the Shell began as a manga series by Masamune Shirow, which was first published in 1989. The series is set in the near-future and tells the story of Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cybernetically-enhanced woman who works as a detective in the Japanese Public Security Department's cybercrimes division. The series explores themes of identity and humanity in a setting where the lines between the real and the virtual, and human and machine are becoming increasingly blurred.
Oshii's anime movie was the first adaptation of Shirow's manga, and was praised for its lavish animation, action choreography and existential themes. In 2002, the series was the basis for a new anime show, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, which featured many of the same characters as the movie and manga but told an original story. Oshii returned to the franchise in 2010's Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. The third film in the franchise, Ghost in the Shell: The New Film, was not directed by Oshii and was released in 2015. A live action, American adaptation, which controversially cast Scarlett Johansson in the role of Motoko Kusanagi, was released in 2017 to mixed reviews. The film was distributed by Paramount Pictures and underperformed at the box office.
Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama, who directed Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, will take on another celebrated cyberpunk franchise with their new series, Blade Runner: Black Lotus. The new, CG-animated series is set in between the events of the original movie and Blade Runner 2049, and will premiere on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim this fall.
The new 4K remaster of Oshii's original animated movie will be released in select IMAX theaters in Japan, the United States and Canada on September 17th.