Michael Pitt

With just over a month to go before the 31st March release of Ghost in The Shell, we’ve just been given a fresh injection of nanoware (a new trailer) into our cyber-augmented craniums (erm, the internet?). The film will present a live-action update of Mamoru Oshii’s beloved cyberpunk franchise, in which human essences can be transferred into cybernetic host bodies. The production has been mired in controversy amidst accusations that the casting of Scarlett Johanson as The Major is yet another case of Hollywood whitewashing. The first trailer certainly whet our appetite, but didn’t offer much in the way of plot beyond “ooooh, shiny”. This time around, the story is beginning to take shape. (more…)

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“I thought what I’d do was, I’d pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes.”
~J.D. Salinger, Catcher In The Rye

Cyberpunk fans and harboiled anime nerds know Ghost In The Shell: Standalone Complex as the series which brought Masamune Shirow‘s science fiction noir drama back into the limelight. The upcoming Hollywood live-action adaptation has received a lot of flak since it was announced, but it seems as if the film is finally about to enter the final stages of development in earnest, with the studio having officially cast the series’ main antagonist, Laughing Man. (more…)

‘Hannibal’ Season 2 Adds a Familiar Face

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My favorite part of watching (and reviewing) the first season of Bryan Fuller‘s Hannibal was the attention to detail and brilliant use of elements that only a fan of Thomas Harris’ original novel, Red Dragon, would recognize. For example, we got to meet characters the book only ever vaguely mentioned–like Garrett Jacob Hobbs.

This season, it seems Fuller has decided to expand further into the “Lecterverse” by introducing a character who will later become infamous as the only person to survive a Hannibal Lecter attack: the wealthy, disturbed, and downright evil, Mason Verger. (more…)

Argh! Just when we think we’ve gone into remission, the cancer that is Americanized Akira has returned with a vengeance. Last week, fans of the beloved anime and manga danced naked around a fire in celebration for what was thought to be the final death stroke to Warner Bros adaptation.  THR  had reported that the Vancouver production offices were “shut down in the face of casting and budgetary issues.

Variety is reporting that the film refuses to die. The word is that the studio is set to hire another new writer to do rewrites “over the next two weeks to focus on character elements and particularly on the pic’s look.” The studio has two writers in mind for the job – Jonathan Nolan (Dark Knight, Dark Knight Rises) or Michael Green (Heroes, Smallville, Green Lantern).

I’ve been a bit manic with my approval of this adaptation; some days I’m OK with it, others I am not. Ultimately, however, it’s a rotten idea for a movie. The  source material is too expansive and far too deep with subtext to be adapted by us silly Americans. Bringing in creatives with comic-book movie cred isn’t gonna change that.

Garret Hedlund and Kristin Stewart have been confirmed as leads Kaneda and Kei. As if the abhorrent whitewashing is not enough, the budget has been chopped from $150m down to $60m, minuscule for a film of such epic proportions. According to a recent casting call,  the  country/city, race, relationship and occupations of the main characters have all been changed from the source material.

Source: Variety