the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and founder of Marvel
Studios, Avi Arad has been a driving force behind bringing many of
Marvel’s most famous comic book characters to the screen, with a
track record that has been nothing short of spectacular, including a
string of No. 1 box office openings.
a producer or executive producer, his credits include Spider-Man,
Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man(Columbia
Pictures); X-Men, X2: X-Men United and X-Men:
The Last Stand (Twentieth Century Fox) and Iron
Man (Paramount Pictures).
Arad produces the much anticipated big-screen adaptation of the
popular manga, Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlett
the near future, Major (Johansson) is the first of her kind: A human
saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect
soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals.
When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack
into people’s minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified
to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that
she has been lied to: her life was not saved, it was stolen. She will
stop at nothing to recover her past, find out who did this to her and
stop them before they do it to others.
the past three decades the popularity of Ghost in the
Shell has continued to grow as its central themes have
become more pertinent. “It’s a cautionary tale about technology,”
says producer Avi Arad. “Ghost in theShell raises
interesting philosophical questions in a futuristic setting, but it
also happens to be relevant to issues we face right now. It’s about
what defines us as individuals — our history versus our actions.
And it does all that in the context of a big, exciting action film.”
film began its long journey to the screen, when Avi Arad pitched the
project to Steven Spielberg — with help from an unexpected source.
“I ran into Steven and his young daughter on the beach in Malibu,”
he recounts. “She knew everything you can imagine about Ghost
in the Shell. She did the pitch for me. That started the ball
2008, Spielberg and DreamWorks acquired the rights to make the first
live-action version of Ghost in theShell,
with Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Steven Paul and Michael Costigan as
producers, and Tetsu Fujimura, Yoshinobu Noma, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and
Jeffrey Silver as executive producers. Almost eight years of
painstaking efforts to get the right script, director and star would
helm the ambitious project, the producers selected British director
Rupert Sanders, best known for his dark action epic,Snow White and
the Huntsman. “Rupert Sanders is a visionary,” says Avi Arad.
“He always loved the project and he knew how important it could be.
Rupert’s love for art and storytelling made him the perfect
director for this.”
also notes that of all the film’s characters, Major is the one
whose life has been transformed the most by technology. “She revels
in being the most extraordinary person in the world, but at the same
time you get a real sense of the weight that she carries. Scarlett
[Johansson] perfectly captures Major’s emotion, humor and
in the Shell is a story about how people may have to change
to survive in the future, according to Arad. “Technology is already
penetrating our lives in different ways. Here we are literally mixing
man and machine together. But however little of Major’s original
physical self is left, she is still profoundly human. Rather than a
story about fearing the future, it is a film about finding a way
through a complicated future.”
across the Philippines on March 29, Ghost in the Shellis
distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia