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Ghost in the Shell Director Mamoru Oshii Trades Cyberpunk for Steampunk in The Last Druid: Garm Wars

TORONTO, CANADA: Renowned director, Mamoru Oshii, has announced he is venturing back from Japanese animation into live action film, with military sci-fi thriller The Last Druid: Garm Wars.

With a lucrative career spanning over 30 years in animation and film, Oshii-san's introspective philosophy and vision has earned him respect and accolades from the international film community. Best known for his Ghost in the Shell film series, Oshii-san's Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004) was the first Japanese animated feature to compete for the Palme D'Or at the Festival de Cannes. He followed up in 2008 with the animated film The Sky Crawlers, which was nominated for the Golden Lion in Venice, and won three awards at Stiges in the same year.

Oshii-san is no stranger to live action, however – in 2001, his film Avalon was selected for out-of-competition screening at Cannes. His unwavering belief that film is about visuals, story and then character (in that order) weaves his animation and live action styles together into a compelling fluidity. We can expect no less from his newest adventure – which will be an adventure for all, as The Last Druid: Garm Wars is Oshii-san's first English-language live action film, with the English version revised by Geoffrey Gunn (Fangs of War).

Comments from Director Mamoru Oshii

“For me, Garm Wars is a film that I've always wanted to turn into a reality. I started planning this work right after the release of Ghost in the Shell some 15 years ago. But unfortunately, at that time, the digital environment need to realize the visuals was too undeveloped, and I was unable to create and release this film to the world. However, now in 2012, the environment for producing films has transformed, especially in digital technology which is currently operating at a shocking level compared to the time I first conceived this project. At long last, Garm Wars' time has come. Fifteen years later, I'm eager to once again tackle this work with a new staff and cast. Best of all, making an English language film with actors active in English-speaking countries is a big adventure for me and I'm hoping for great results.”

Taking place in a world of war known as Annwn, Garm Wars sets the scene with clone soldiers from 3 military tribes, in a bloody and perpetual battle of air, land and technology. One clone, Khara, finds herself separated from battle and on the run with unlikely companions. In seeking to know more about their joint existence, the fugitives instead find an unrelenting truth and the greatest battle of their lives.

The Last Druid: Garm Wars is a long-awaited film Mamoru Oshii has wanted to make for over 15 years. Shortly after Ghost in the Shell (1995), Oshii-san completed a few short pilots as a precursor to Garm Wars but his original concept remained hidden from the world…until now.

Oshii-san's long-time collaborator, Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, has signed on to produce The Last Druid: Garm Wars. A producer of the Ghost in the Shell franchise and also of The Sky Crawlers, Ishikawa-san understands how deeply personal this film is for Mamoru Oshii and is looking forward to telling this particular story.

Comments from Producer Mitsuhisa Ishikawa

“I always knew that in director Mamoru Oshii's long career, The Last Druid: Garm Wars was the film that he always wanted to direct the most. I also believe that as a director, production technology limited him in the early days, but when I originally heard about this project, from a producer's perspective I objected to him making what he wants to make only for himself I thought that he mustn't make this film if it is not what audiences find interesting. Now, The Last Druid: Garm Wars is going into action! Over the past 15 years, Mamoru Oshii's soul has ripened and the film contains what audiences want to see. Produced from our home base camp in Canada, this new Mamoru Oshii world goes out to audiences all over the planet.”

Co-founder and CEO of Production I.G, Ishikawa-san joins fellow producers Ken Nakamura (Fangs of War, Provocateur) and Tetsu Fujimura (Tekken) on The Last Druid: Garm Wars. In conjunction with The Nakamura Group Advantage and Intelligent Creatures, Production I.G will be involved in the production of the film.

Comments from VFX Supervisor, Lon Molnar

"Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell is one of the most influential films for Artists worldwide," explains Lon Molnar, CEO-VFX Supervisor at Intelligent Creatures, "It is a great honor to work with such a Master Filmmaker and the talented team at Production I.G to bring their next visual spectacle to life."

About The Nakamura Group Advantage Inc.: established in 2009, TNGA is a Canadian entertainment company, based in Toronto, specializing in the production, distribution and financing of feature motion pictures, television programmes and digital content.

About Production I.G, Inc.: established in 1987, Production I.G has since produced a number of acclaimed feature films, TV shows, and videogames, and has also partnered with Mamoru Oshii on every one of his animated films since Patlabor: The Movie (1989), thereby earning an international admiration which eventually led to the visionary collaboration with Quentin Tarantino for the animation sequence in his hit, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003).

About Filosophia, Inc.: established in 2006 by Tetsu Fujimura, founder and former CEO of GAGA Communications, Filosophia applies extensive expertise and a strong international-Japanese relationship network to facilitate the development of international productions based on Japanese properties and rights.

About Intelligent Creatures: established in 2003, Intelligent Creatures is an artist-driven, progressive visual effects studio with a fully integrated 2D compositing and 3D animation pipeline, and with a wealth of experience dedicated to helping some of cinema's finest directors tell their most compelling stories—Battle: Los Angeles, Watchmen, Mr & Mrs. Smith and Babel, to name a few.

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