There's been a flurry of buzz around theatrical 3-D lately, perhaps because James Cameron has come out of hiding to talk a bit about Avatar. (If you haven't yet read this interview with the King of the World, do so immediately.) The last thing we heard was that exhibitors have ganged up on Steven Spielberg for apparently standing in the way of the digital revolution. But Spielberg seems to have seen the light: he's acquired the rights to the Japanese manga Ghost in the Shell for Dreamworks, which plans to film it in -- you guessed it -- digital 3-D. A Dreamworks suit boasts that the story "epitomizes 3-D live-action motion picture possibilities."

If that title sounds familiar, it's because the manga has already been adapted into one of the most celebrated anime films of all time. The story involves an attempt to fight cyber-crime by creating a breed of ultra-powerful cyborgs, which strikes me as a terrible idea. I found Mamoru Oshii's movie visually spectacular but impenetrable -- I'm not an anime buff, and it confused the hell out of me. I'm sure that if nothing else, Dreamworks will find a way to solve that problem. Jamie Moss (Street Kings) is taking a crack at writing the adaptation.

3-D still has its naysayers and its crusaders: in the interview I linked above, Cameron announced his intention to make an ordinary, small-scale drama in 3-D just to demonstrate that it's a broadly viable format. But you don't have to listen to either of them. The extent to which Hollywood is investing in 3-D productions speaks volumes on its own.