When in 1818 the British author Mary Shelley published her novel Frankenstein, it was clear that was taking shape a new literary genre, of immediate success, that would revolutionize the way we think the reality. It was science fiction, which in the twentieth century has been extended to all other media, from television to comic books. But above all to the movies. The cinema, as a place to retreat to discover unreal and unknown worlds, owes much to the science fiction genre, but also vice versa. Yes, because the Science Fiction, better known by the acronym Sci Fi, hand in hand with technology, is becoming an increasingly popular phenomenon of great impact. Knows the director James Cameron, a giant of Hollywood Sci Fi, author of masterpieces such as Aliens and Terminator, which while directing work on the sequel to Avatar, is preparing to tell the emergence and spread of the Science Fiction through a docu-film for TV, output in 2018. Produced by AMC, the series will consist of six episodes, each lasting one hour, will be titled James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction and will try to answer questions about the future of mankind, intended to compete with the unstoppable advance of the technological breakthrough. Cameron said he decided to become a director thanks to the sci-fi genre milestone: 2001 Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick. And now, it seems, he has decided to return the favor with a focus on the history of the genre. Waiting to know more, the pillars on which rests the Sci Fi that make it a unique category are already clear to everybody. Travel in time and space, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life. But especially cybernetics, the science which bases its foundations on creating machines that can replace the human brain: an ambitious and at the same time frightening claim, but more and more plausible and so fascinating.
It’s the direction of the next work by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman), Ghost in the Shell, distributed starting next March 30. Based on the manga by Masamune Shirow of 1989, it tells the story of Hanka Robotics, cyber counterterrorism organization, which will have to defend against an enemy that wants to sabotage in every possible way. Scarlett Johansson will play the main character, the greater that in Japanese comics called Motoko Kusanagi, but in the film is simply called the Major. A controversial choice, because in the original manga Kusanagi is of Asian ethnicity, but Scarlett Johansson was later approved and considered perfect for the role, both for his career and for his “cyberpunk air”.
Released by Universal Pictures, the film was created with the goal of becoming a kolossal of the Sci Fi: the secret to achieve this is the improbable union between the fruit amplified reality of technological progress and the insights derived, fully human and philosophical tracts. A combination that in Ghost in the Shell is glaring, becoming the premise and promise of success.