The beloved manga Ghost in the Shell has never shied away from existential threats, even as the cyborg leader of an elite anti-terrorist unit battles grotesque villains in the corporeal world. The live-action reboot, due out on March 31, 2017, won’t be an origin story for its protagonist, the Major — instead, it will focus on what it’s like for an android to live in a world where cyberization has completely altered aspects of humanity. There will still be plenty of action, but the villains aren’t who most fans will expect — the Major’s external enemy, and vehicle for her existential struggle, will be Kuze, her childhood friend.
Instead of focusing on Public Security Section 9’s fight against cyber villains, monsters, or criminals, producer Avi Arad told Collider that they wanted to spend most of the film tackling how the Major (Scarlett Johansson), defines herself in terms of her memories. Arad felt that in order to tell the best possible story, it would benefit the viewer to become much more attached to the Major through her own personal struggle rather than telling a story about a fight between good versus evil.
Were not doing Puppetmaster. It’s not Laughing Man. It involves Kuze. The Kuze story. The big thing we are doing here is that we’re not necessarily doing an origins backstory, but we are addressing her sense of self and resolving how she defines herself in terms of memories. That’s one of the main thrusts in the story. Inspired by that episode of Affection in second gig. It’s bits and pieces of those mixed together.
The relationship between Kuze and the Major is a very important one. Both children were made into cyborgs after barely surviving a horrible plane crash. It is implied throughout the 2nd GIG that the two know each other and that the Major remembers Kuze from somewhere despite her memory lapse. Kuze is the first person that the Major ever loved. The story makes for a good Hollywood drama, and even though Avi Arad says that this film will not be an origin film, it surely seems like it will make up a better portion of the new movie.
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