Before the live action counterpart can either thrill or enrage the anime fan base, Funimation Films and Lionsgate have announced a partnership that will bring the original Ghost in the Shell anime movie to theaters for a two-day limited theatrical engagement, in the early part of February 2017.
The classic anime film premiered in 1995, is produced by Production I.G., and was directed by Mamoru Oshii, based on the manga by Masamune Shirow. The story takes place in 2029, as a cybernetic government agent, Major Motoko Kusanagi, of the Internal Bureau of Investigations attempts to track down “The Puppet Master,” a mysterious computer virus that can infiltrate human hosts. Along with the rest of Section 9, the Major, works to capture the omnipresent entity.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Lionsgate to bring the original ‘Ghost in the Shell’ movie back to U.S. theaters,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO and founder of Funimation. “’Ghost in the Shell’ is truly a seminal work in anime cinema and it helped firmly establish a market for the genre with U.S. movie audiences.”
“’Ghost in the Shell’ is an iconic property and it is great that fans will be able to watch it on the big screen for the first time in 20 years,’ said Kevin Carney, VP Marketing Lionsgate. “Many fans will be seeing the movie in a theater for the first time and Funimation has been a terrific partner to help make this possible.”
Anime fans can look for the Ghost in the Shell anime film to be available in 110 theaters across the United States, on Feb. 7-8, 2017. Both the Japanese, with English subtitles, and English dub versions of the film will be presented, on separate days of the engagement, starting with the subtitled version. The list of available theaters, as well as tickets, can be found by visiting the film’s official site.
Lionsgate will be releasing Ghost in the Shell, in a new deluxe collector’s edition of the remastered original, on Blu-ray with Digital HD on Mar. 7, 2017. The release will feature steelbook packaging, with Mondo artwork.
The manga is currently published in North America by Kodansha Comics USA. The new live action version, starring Scarlett Johansson, will be available in theaters in March of this year.