DreamWorks has purchased screen rights to the Japanese cyber-punk manga comic Ghost in the Shell, to develop as a futuristic Matrix-style, 3-D live-action police thriller.
Created by Masamune Shirow in 1989 for "Young Magazine", the property has since been adapted into anime films, anime TV series and PlayStation videogames.
In 2005, the anime feature Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence was released by DreamWorks.
Avi Arad, Ari Arad and Steven Paul of Seaside Entertainment will produce the new film, with Jamie "Street Kings" Moss writing the screenplay.
Avi Arad is noted for steering Marvel Comics into big screen adaptations, producing three Spider-Man features, three X-Men, two Fantastic Four, the upcoming Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk.
"Ghost in the Shell is one of my favourite stories," Spielberg said.
"It's a genre that has arrived..."
As conceived by Shirow, Ghost in the Shell, aka 'Mobile Armored Riot Police', follows 'Motoko Kusanagi', a female member of the covert operations unit of the 'Japanese National Public Safety Commission, Section 9', specializing in fighting technology-related crime.
Named after one of the three 'Imperial Regalia' of Japan, Kusanagi is the leader of the team, referred to as 'The Major'.
She is capable of superhuman feats with a 'bionically' specialized, mechanized body, with only her brain and a segment of her spinal cord organic.
The setting is similar to author William Gibson's Sprawl, with Shirow focusing on the ethical/philosophical ramifications of the merging of humanity and technology, the development of artificial intelligence and the power of computer networks...