Screen Daily reports that Dreamworks SKG has formed a specialty distribution arm, Go Fish, which will distribute its first film, Satoshi Kon's Millenium Actress, on September 12 in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. Dreamworks set up Go Fish just after Warner Bros. announced the launch of Warner Independent Pictures, which will release films from independents and small production companies. While Go Fish will undoubtedly release its share of indie films, the second film announced by Dreamworks was Ghost In The Shell II: Innocence, the follow-up to the extremely successful science fiction anime feature, Ghost In The Shell, which was directed by Mamoru Oshii and based on the manga series by Masamune Shirow (published in the U.S by Dark Horse). It should be interesting to see if Dreamworks primarily uses Go Fish to compete with Warners for indie films or to gain a beachhead for anime feature films in the rough and tumble arena of theatrical exhibition.
Ghost in the Shell II is in the final stages of production in Japan, and Go Fish plans to release the feature film late in the first half of 2004. Back in 1996 the original Ghost In the Shell film made a major impact in the U.S. and launched a plethora of successful tie-in products including posters, statues, art books, manga, and action figures. With a Ghost in the Shell TV series (see 'Bandai Gets Ghost In the Shell TV Series') set to debut in the U.S. and the merchandising potential of a second Ghost In The Shell movie (see 'New Ghost In The Shell Movie'), this property is poised to take off once again.