'Ghost in the Shell' helmer plans live-action pic

TOKYO

Mamoru Oshii, the helmer of the seminal 1995 sci-fi toon “Ghost in the Shell,” as well as other toons and live-action pics with a large following in Japan and abroad, is making a new live-action sci-fi/action epic with all English dialogue.

Titled “The Last Druid: Garm Wars,” the pic is being produced by Tokyo toon house Production I.G, which also made “Ghost in the Shell.” Anno explained that he first conceived the project 15 years ago, but delayed because he didn’t have the right digital tools. Now he does, though, and is shooting for an early summer 2014 release, while aiming for distribution in 50 countries and territories.

Another partner is The Nakamura Group Advantage, a Canadian company engaged in the production and distribution of feature pics, TV programming and digital contents.

In addition to Oshii as helmer, Geoffrey Gun is attached as scripter and Atsuki Sato as VFX supervisor. Production I.G prexy and long-time Oshii collaborator Mitsuhisa Ishikawa is serving as producer.

Set in an alien world, the story centers on a war being fought by three tribes of clones called Garms — and a clone from one tribe who absents herself from the battlefield and undertakes a journey that leads her to the reason for her kind’s existence.

Among other Oshii live-action pics are the 1987 “The Red Spectacles” and the 2001 “Avalon,” a sci-fi thriller that was shot in Poland in Polish. His last project with Production I.G was the 2008 feature toon “The Sky Crawlers.”

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