Ghost in the Shell has made a huge impression on pop culture. First arriving as a manga and then the anime film all nearly 30 years ago, this cyberpunk franchise has if not a huge international following, most certainly a huge cult following. After a few years in pre-production, Hollywood was able to release the big budget spectacle Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlett Johansson, one of today’s biggest starlets.
In the not too distant future, a group called Section 9, part of an international government, works to stop crime. A newer agent, simply called The Major, is a cybernetic creation, mostly robot, who is on a mission with the organization to stop a terrorist who seems to be after the company that created The Major. As Section 9 gets closer to finding the perpetrator, The Major begins to unravel a truth that is much bigger than the acts of a terrorist. It may include even herself and her very origins.
Directed by Rupert Sanders, the film also stars genre favorite actors Takeshi Kitano, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbaek, and Juliette Binoche. One of the screenwriters even wrote the adaption of another English language version of a Japanese film (The Ring). Dark Discussions takes a look at the film, the source material, the controversy of the casting, and also a bit about cyberpunk in film and literature.