If the name Mamoru Oshii doesn’t sound familiar then you probably don’t watch much anime – or maybe you do, and you’re not very good at it. A good number of Oshii’s works are now considered classics of Japanese animation. He’s directed – among many other things – Ghost in the Shell (and its sequel), Ptalabor: The Movie (and its sequel), plus several episodes of the television series Urusei Yatsura (and two of its movie adaptations). All that said, his latest film, Garm Wars: The Last Druid is in fact live-action – which should be obvious, about thirty seconds into the trailer.
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.
This isn’t Oshii’s first live-action film – his non-animated repertoire stretches back to the 80s and includes the art house noir, The Red Spectacles, and the stylish action sci-fi, Avalon – or his first film not to be shot in Japanese – Avalon was made with a Polish cast in Polish – but it is his first film shot in English.
The cast includes Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Near Dark, and dozens of other genre films), Andrew Gillies (TV’s Orphan Black, and Trailer Park Boys), and Summer H. Howell (Curse of Chucky).
Garm Wars: The Last Druid is set for release later this year.