What Went Wrong With The Live Action Ghost In The Shell Movie
With the release of Ghost in the Shell (2017) to Blu-ray and DVD, a lot of channels have gone back to revisit the box office flop, and Nerdwriter (Evan Puschak) tries to examine exactly where the movie went wrong when it came to adapting the cult classic anime.
Nerdwriter is this really great channel in Youtube which dissects a lot of the intellectual merit in movies, books, or music. In his opinion, the biggest problem with Sanders’ approach is that he decided to take images directly from the animated film and put them on an entirely different story—and this is only one of the reasons why the entire film feels so jilted.
The original 1995 anime movie took one main narrative from the manga and inferred the complexity of the world through other means. Even for the anime movie sequel Innocence, it broadly took the inspiration from the manga story Robot Rondo and fleshed it out into a whole movie.
There is a good reason why you do this and that’s because, unlike a sprawling manga, a movie has a limited window of time in which to impart its story. Focusing on a single narrative from the manga then makes sense.
In comparison, this live-action adaptation tries to pull from disparate adaptations of the main source at once and the result is a confused mess. Ironically, if the production had gone back to the original manga and tried to adapt a single story from that direction then the result might have been something more coherent and likely generated a better word of mouth from the fans.
This brings us directly to the Nerdwriter’s central thesis in this outstanding essay. “Those who adapt works of art should be given the creative license to make the story work for them, but you can’t just mine the source material for parts. Adaptations and remakes don’t require strict adherence or obedience or even necessarily respect, just an understanding of what made the original so powerful in the first place.”