We’ve seen part of the Ghost in the Shell movie and it looks awesome! At a special Ghost in the Shell fan event on Wednesday, 12 minutes of the upcoming blockbuster adaptation of the classic anime was screened. We’ll get into the nitty gritty below, but go ahead and mark your calendars for March 31 — Ghost in the Shell is now one of our most anticipated films of the year.

The first sequence screened for fans is all about how the Major (Scarlett Johansson) is created. We see her brain being put into a robotic body and how that shell is made to look human. It’s a segment that could be very straightforward and technical, but director Rupert Sanders embraces the strong visual language of anime and presents something trippy and almost religious. It’s like Blade Runner meets Beyond the Black Rainbow.

Sanders isn’t worried about how literal the scene comes across. It’s about feeling and style. Above all, that’s where Ghost in the Shell is doing anime and Eastern storytelling justice.

Ghost in the Shell doesn’t look like Americanized anime. It’s modern filmmaking that translates the source material to a wide audience without losing it’s unique edge.

 

Later, the audience was shown a full action scene which you've seen parts of in the trailers. You know, the one with those utterly terrifying geisha robots? It's awesome. The effects work on the Major's thermoptic camouflage suit and the robotics are incredibly detailed. This movie isn't cutting corners; the tech and world come across as shockingly real yet beautifully fantastical. And Clint Mansell's score? Cyberpunk perfection.

"This is a film by a fan, for the fans." - Rupert Sanders, director of Ghost in the Shell.

Sanders was there to introduce the film and he made it clear he's a true fan of the property. He saw the film in art college and became obsessed with it, chasing after the rights for years until he was finally able to make the film. "This is a film by a fan, for the fans," Sanders says. However, the director says he wanted to make the movie something that could expand the property to more people than ever before. In short, he hopes his film will create new fans of Ghost in the Shell who will use this movie as a jumping-off point to explore the other films, books, and series.

In the meantime, get excited about Ghost in the Shell. We don't get striking, unapologetically weird, big budget action films like this as often as we should. If you complain that Hollywood is making nothing but "safe" fare, then you need to see Ghost in the Shell.

Drew Dietsch
Drew Dietsch has written for CHUD.com, the News-Press, WhatCulture, and releases a weekly film review podcast, The Drew Reviews Podcast. He'll yak your ear off about horror movies, Jaws, RoboCop, and/or Batman if you let him.