Earlier today, the Ghost in the Shell website announced that a new film is in the works.

No, this isn’t the Dreamworks flick.

GitS 2015 Film 001 - 20140108

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An animated film, titled Koukaku Kidoutai: Shin Gekijyou-ban (Ghost in the Shell: New Movie Edition), will explore the origins of Major Motoko Kusanagi, as well as Public Security Section 9. Maaya Sakamoto, who played Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell: Arise will reprise her role in the film. Kazuya Nomura (ROBOTICS;NOTES) will direct, and music will be provided by Cornelius. The rest of the cast will be filled as follows:

  • Chief Director & Character Designer: Kazuchika Kise (Ghost in the Shell: Arise)
  • Chief Animation Director: Toru Ohkubo (Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings)
  • Screenplay: Tow Ubukata (Ghost in the Shell: Arise)
  • Animation Production: Production I.G.
  • Production: “Koukaku Kidoutai: Shin Gekijyou-ban” Production Committee
  • Distributor: Toho

The trailer for the film is below:

Ghost in the Shell: New Movie Edition is slated for a summer 2015 release in Japanese theaters. In addition, a Ghost in the Shell: Arise anime series is in the works. The show will begin airing in Japan in April.1

This week has been a great week for fans of Shirow’s classic. We’ve had major news regarding two films in the franchise, both of which promise to be vastly different from one another.

For the purists, this film looks to scratch the same itch that Arise did, given that much of the staff is returning from the OVA to work on the film. The visual style appears to be closer to traditional style found in the original film and Stand Alone Complex, while retaining a number of the more favorable enhancements found in Ghost In The Shell: Arise.

For those looking for a change to the formula, the news from Dreamworks is certainly a treat. The film, which recently confirmed Scarlett Johansson’s starring role, will undoubtedly introduce a new take on things. The different sensibilities in western film, as well as the transition from animation to film, will undoubtedly produce a far different flick than any of the Japanese releases to date.

At this point, though, we really have no information on either production. Ghost in the Shell: New Movie Edition, which is scheduled to hit just a few months off, will undoubtedly see a number of news and information drops as we get deeper into the year. We’ll likely be flooded with a growing number of visuals, trailers, and teasers, as the release date draws nearer, not to mention the requisite teases and trailers from the North American licensor once they confirm the license.

Dreamworks’s production, on the other hand, hasn’t even been greenlit, let alone entered production. We still have no clue whether it will actually get off the ground, or if the film will remain perennially “in pre-production” like James Cameron’s Battle Angel movie. New information will be scarce, until the film finally does begin filming.

In either case, it will be fun to really see how the two films shape up, both as a comparison to one another, and as individual works. The same property, undergoing two vastly different processes at (roughly) the same time frame would be a real treat to industry watchers and film fans alike.