The legendary video game designer and creator of Metal Gear Solid Hideo Kojima recently shared his thoughts on Rupert Sanders' live-action adaptation of Ghost in the Shell.
Kojima thought that Hollywood's version is "extremely successful at fitting into the shell of a Hollywood blockbuster" by interpreting the original story's "ghost," and said that this is a good adaptation of the anime/manga series for anyone who's looking for something less philosophical than Masamune Shirow's original work.
Kojima also described the cyberpunk film as "surprisingly loyal to the original anime," comparing it ot the Marvel cinematic universe, in which, "the shell (the look of the film the atmosphere,the modernized performances and presentation) and the ghost (the themes and characters' identities)" are often changed for the sake of the movie.
The live-action film managed to capture the visual style of the anime, but it looks like the only thing that it resembles it the original shell, as Kojima describes:
"Even with all the latest visual technology, though, the film basically boils down to a series of faithfully recreated scenes from the anime. This is not a bad thing per se. As a fan of the manga and anime, it was a pleasant surprise, and the respect that the movie shows in mimicking the anime is unquestionable. As a real fan of the original works, though, I can't help but feel that the production was trapped in the shell of the original, and as a result, it fails to come into its own."
Kojima concluded that Rupert Sanders' adaptation "lacks the wide-reaching influence of the manga and the sheer impact of the anime," saying that after getting out of the theater, "the characters stay behind, locked in their 'shell,' unable to break free."
So far, the film has underperformaned at the box office, tracking with a loss of $60 million USD. Paramount's distribution chief recently said that the white-washing controversy and the negative reviews might have negatively affected its box office performance.
A new Ghost in the Shell project has been announced but the format hasn't been revealed yet.