Scarlett Johansson to star in the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie
Scarlett Johansson, who demonstrated that women make awesome, bankable action stars with last year’s Lucy, has signed up for DreamWork’s adaptation of the anime Ghost in the Shell, according to Variety. Rupert Sanders, best known for Snow White and the Huntsman, will direct a script by Bill Wheeler.
The 1995 animated film Ghost in the Shell is itself an adaptation of the manga of the same name. Directed by Mamoru Oshii, the film follows Motoko Kusanaigi and her security agency squad members on their search for a malicious hacker named the Puppet Master. That’s really just the introduction, as the film blooms into a masterpiece about technology, sex, and paranoia.
“DreamWorks principal Steven Spielberg is a huge fan of the original,” says the report onVariety, “and has long wanted to get this film off the ground.” Hollywood has a pathetic history of making action films with female leads, but it’s also known to emulate recent successes. With Johansson’s financial and creative hits Lucy and Under the Skinreceiving acclaim — not to mention her role in Marvel blockbusters like The Avengersand Captain America: Winter Soldier — her talent and celebrity could be what’s necessary to finally get the film made.
Here’s hoping a live-action film can capture the astonishing beauty of the original’s animation. [via The Verge]
Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊 Kōkaku Kidōtai?, literally “Mobile Armored Riot Police”) is a Japanese media franchise originally published as a seinen manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow. The manga, first serialized in 1989 under the subtitle of The Ghost in the Shell, and later published as its own tankōbon volumes by Kodansha, told the story of the fictional counter-cyberterrorist organization Public Security Section 9, led by protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi, in the mid 21st century of Japan.
Animation studio Production I.G has produced several different anime adaptations of Ghost in the Shell, starting with the 1995 film of the same name, telling the story of Section 9’s investigation of the Puppet Master. The television series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex followed in 2002, telling an alternate story from the manga and first film, featuring Section 9’s investigations of government corruption in the Laughing Man and Individual Eleven incidents. The year 2013 saw the start of the Ghost in the Shell: Arise film series, consisting of four films through mid-2014.