Following a complete digital overhaul, Japanese director Mamoru Oshii's influential 1995 animation classic Ghost In The Shell is set for local re-release on July 12, Production I.G announced today.

Although story elements remain unchanged, the new version takes advantage of recent technologies to incorporate 3D CG, add new digital effects and create more detailed backgrounds throughout the film.

The soundtrack has also been redesigned in Dolby 6.1, with regular Oshii collaborator Kenji Kawai providing new music. Character voiceovers also get a renewal with the added participation of veteran voice actress Yoshiko Sakakibara.

Randy Thom supervised the final mix at George Lucas' Skywalker Sound, where post-production for Oshii's upcoming The Sky Crawlers was also carried out.

The new version is entitled Ghost In The Shell 2.0 to draw attention to the upgrade.

Its limited release at the massive 1,000+ seat Shinjuku Milano cinema comes ahead of the August 2 wide release of Oshii's latest The Sky Crawlers.

Masamune Shirow's original Ghost In The Shell manga was published in 1989, spawning a franchise of comics, movies, TV series and video games.

Ghost reached number one on the Billboard video charts in 1996 andWestern filmmakers such as Luc Besson and the Wachowski brothers have previously acknowledged the film's influence on them.

In April, Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks announced plans to develop Ghost in the Shell into a 3D live-action feature.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence was released in the U.S. by DreamWorks in 2004.

Another cult animation franchise received a similar reworking with last year's Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone. The first of the five-film 'rebuild' of the Neon Genesis Evangelion series, it reached number one at the box office and earned $7.6m.