Warning: possible spoilers ahead for Ghost in the Shell. Don't read any further if you want to stay in the dark leading up to the film's release!
We have seen plenty of movies inspired by American comic books, but few that take direct inspiration from Japanese manga. That's where Ghost in the Shell comes in. Rupert Sanders' live-action depiction of the classic Japanese property is slated to hit theaters later this month, and the Scarlett Johansson fronted film already looks like a badass action-adventure that will satisfy die-hard fans and newcomers alike.
While the anticipation for Ghost in the Shell has become agonizing, a lucky segment of the moviegoing populace was recently invited to check out 15 minutes of IMAX footage from the upcoming sci-fi epic. We were in attendance for one of these screenings, and we were blown away by what we saw. You're probably dying to know what we saw, so let's dive in and discuss the iconic "shelling" sequence.
The Shelling Sequence
The initial sequence shown to IMAX audiences is one of the most iconic images and concepts from the entire Ghost in the Shell universe: the "shelling" sequence. The scene involves The Major having her brain removed from her dying body and placed into a robotic "shell" that effectively turns her into a weapon. It is a beautifully constructed sequence (complete with a seriously impressive synthwave soundtrack), and it mainly shows the birth of our hero. We see her brain (encased in a metal frame) implanted into a skeleton, and then layer by layer a functioning body is built around her. Eventually, The Major wakes up in shock over what has happened, and we watch her slowly but steadily come to terms with who (what) she now is.
One of the first things that we noticed going into the shelling sequence is the fact that it is not a direct adaptation of the sequence from the original Ghost in the Shell anime. The cast and crew have taken certain visual cues, but the sequence in which The Major receives her robotic body is not a shot for shot recreation from the source material. It's close to what we generally expect it to look like, but it also definitely stands on its own.
That is something that becomes echoed numerous times throughout the Ghost in the Shell footage shown to IMAX audiences. The film seems like a thematic adaptation of what fans have come to know and love about this material, and specific shots are indeed included in the overall product, but the film is trying to carve out a niche for itself and work within the live-action format. Movies like Captain America: Civil War have proven that this school of thought works, so we think it might be the right course of action for Ghost in the Shell as well.
Of course, the shelling sequence wasn't the only footage that IMAX audiences got to see from Ghost in the Shell. Check out the next page for an in-depth discussion of one of the film's badass action scenes!